Governor Wolf Makes Schools That Teach Stop in Harrisburg

September 21, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – As part of his statewide ‘Schools That Teach’ Tour, Governor Tom Wolf visited today with students and staff at Camp Curtin Academy in Harrisburg. In the 2016-17 budget, Governor secured $2.6 million in increased classroom funding for the Harrisburg School District, making for a total increase over $5 million to Harrisburg schools over his first two budgets.

“We have made great strides over the last two years in restoring the massive hit schools took due to state budget cuts in 2011, but we still have a lot of work to do,” Governor Wolf said. “The Harrisburg School District is one of many across the commonwealth that continues to struggle for adequate funding while working hard to provide the best possible education to students.”

During the visit, the governor was able to see first-hand some of the district’s academic resources new to the 2016-17 school year, including a newly reopened library and a new SmartLab for STEM education.

“Camp Curtin finally has a beautiful library and a new STEM lab, but other schools have had these things for a long time – we’re just now getting back up to the starting line,” said Rep. Patty Kim, who attended the tour. “Governor Wolf has been fighting for these students, and together, we want to keep working to ensure they have the resources they need to be successful in school.”

“Research shows that equity in funding increases proposed by Governor Wolf will assist in providing educational opportunities to students who live and attend school in underfunded urban and rural districts. Districts like Harrisburg, in which poverty levels are at an all-time high and allow for 100% of the students to receive free lunch and breakfast, also have many other needs that make learning a challenge,” said Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, Superintendent of the Harrisburg School District. “In order to be well-rounded leaders in education and “Schools that Teach,” our schools must address challenges that limit a child’s ability to learn and thrive educationally.  Increased funding will allow districts, such as Harrisburg, to provide the unaddressed physical, psychological and social needs that hinder children who deserve every opportunity to achieve, reach their full academic potential and succeed beyond high school graduation.”

Governor Wolf has fought for more education funding since day one and he has made investment in our schools and our children his top priority. Working with the legislature, the governor has secured historic increases of nearly $640 million in his first two years:

  • $415 million in basic education funding
  • $60 million for early childhood education
  • $50 million in special education funding
  • $14.6 million for early intervention
  • $81.4 million for PASSHE and state-related schools
  • $16.4 million for Community Colleges

Additionally, in June 2016, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 1552 into law, which established a fair funding formula and provided emergency funds for two of the commonwealth’s financially distressed school districts. The law, known as Act 35, establishes a fair, equitable formula for allocating new state funds to Pennsylvania schools. The Basic Education Funding Formula accounts for district-based factors including the wealth of the district, the district’s current tax effort, and the ability of the district to raise revenue.

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