Governor Wolf Discusses the Impact of Funding Increases in Northampton County during “Schools that Teach” Roundtable and Tour

May 08, 2015

Bethlehem, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today continued his “Schools That Teach” tour in Northampton County, where he heard from teachers and administrators at Governor Wolf Elementary School – named after former Governor George Wolf – in the Bethlehem Area School District about their plans to ensure that education funding from his 2015-16 budget goes directly into the classroom.

“Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom in the country in state funding for K through 12 education and my proposed budget makes historic investments at all levels – early childhood education through higher education,” said Governor Wolf. “After years of funding cuts that resulted in the loss of educators, increased class sizes, and cuts to valuable programs, I want to ensure that the new funding in my budget reaches the classroom and directly impacts student achievement. Focusing on education will allow us to lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.”

In a roundtable discussion, Governor heard from school leaders and stakeholders about their plans to implement and sustain full-day kindergarten as a direct result of the nearly $3.8 million basic education funding increase to their district.

“This is an important opportunity for districts to have comprehensive conversations about how to invest this funding on proven resources and programs that will improve student learning,” Governor Wolf said. “What is being proposed here in the Bethlehem Area School District is a prime example of a plan that will ensure this historic education investment reaches the classroom while providing clear benchmarks to measure the results of student achievement.”

“The governor’s budget aligns with the needs of our district, particularly when it comes to early childhood education,” Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy said. “We are expanding to universal, full-day kindergarten, knowing that our funding increase under the governor’s budget provides the resources to make this possible.”

In March, Department of Education Acting Secretary Pedro Rivera sent a letter to superintendents in all 500 districts detailing accountability measures to ensure the education funding proposed in Governor Wolf’s 2015-2016 budget is spent directly on students in the classroom to allow them to compete in a modern economy. In the letter, Acting Secretary Rivera called on districts to submit plans to ensure this new investment reaches the classroom and to measure results for Pennsylvania’s students.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan – 717.783.1116

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