Governor Wolf’s First Term Boosts Schools That Teach, Made Children the Top Priority
January 11, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Since taking office, Governor Tom Wolf has fought for more education funding and has made investments in our schools and our children his top priority. As he prepares to begin his second term, the governor pledged that he would continue to fight for students to have quality schools, regardless of their zip code.
“Over the past four years we have made schools that teach our top priority by reinvesting in our children and their classrooms,” said Governor Wolf. “Together, we restored funding after devastating cuts and are building a brighter future for students with sustained investments in their education. During my first term we tackled longstanding problems such as implementing a fair funding formula and expanding pre-k for thousands of kids.
“We’re taking steps to make sure everyone can thrive in our economy. Not every child in Pennsylvania will go to a four-year college, but every child needs the skills to compete for a good job. We are now creating new science and technology programs and expanding job training for in-demand careers, so everyone has the skills they need for a good-paying job in Pennsylvania.”
The governor visited Winding Creek Elementary School in Cumberland County today, the 79th stop on his Schools That Teach tour since taking office. Following his remarks, the governor visited students who were applying their STEM skills to build small rollercoasters.
Governor Wolf has worked with students, parents, educators, stakeholders and bipartisan members of the General Assembly to move Pennsylvania forward and expand educational opportunities.
Supporting a quality education:
- Restored funding that was cut by the previous administration that led to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes and program cuts.
- Enacted a fair funding formula that provides equitable, fair funding for all school districts.
- Expanded enrollment in AP courses by 10 percent.
- Launched the Future Ready PA Index, a new one-stop location for information on student and school success.
Early education, health and safety:
- Increased the number of children able to attend pre-kindergarten by 60 percent.
- Established a Ready to Start Task Force to develop strategies to address health, human services, and education needs for children age zero to three.
- Created a School Breakfast Initiative to help more children start their day with a healthy meal.
- Created a task force to bring together officials, educators, parents, and students to talk about ways to improve school safety and security.
- Enacted the Timothy J. Piazza Antihazing Law to strengthen penalties for hazing and protect students.
- Created It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide initiative to combat sexual assault on campuses.
Reduced standardized testing and improved graduation requirements:
- Reduced the length of PSSA tests by 20 percent, condensed the exam timeframe from three weeks to two weeks and shifted it to later in the school year for students in grades three through eight.
- Improved high school graduation requirements to give students options to demonstrate graduation readiness as alternatives to standardized testing.
- Increased the high school graduation rate to 86.1 percent, placing Pennsylvania above the national average.
Workforce development and career readiness:
- Established PAsmart, a first-of-its-kind $30 million workforce development initiative that invests $20 million in computer science and STEM education programs for K-12 students and $10 million to expand apprenticeships and industry partnerships.
- Advanced Pennsylvania to second in the nation for K-12 STEM and Computer Science education investments.Increased the number of career and technical education (CTE) students earning industry-recognized credentials by 34.2 percent and increased the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in CTE programs by 27.2 percent.