Statement from Governor Josh Shapiro on the Basic Education Funding Commission’s Report
January 11, 2024
Harrisburg, PA – Today, following the report and recommendations released by the Basic Education Funding Commission, Governor Josh Shapiro released the following statement:
“Last year, Commonwealth Court directed my Administration, legislative leaders, and education advocates to work together to ensure every child in Pennsylvania receives an adequate and equitable education. The report adopted today by the Basic Education Funding Commission is a reflection of that work and of the consensus across Pennsylvania, and among leaders in both parties, that there is a real path forward to deliver a comprehensive solution on K-12 education in Pennsylvania. I want to thank the members of the commission and their staff for all their hard work over these many months.
“Today’s report acknowledges that additional, targeted investments in public education are necessary to adequately meet the needs of school districts throughout Pennsylvania. The report also addresses a number of priorities of mine that continue the critical investments we have already made – including mental health supports for our kids, resources to repair, maintain, and secure school facilities, and efforts to increase and support our teachers.
“I look forward to addressing these points when I deliver my budget to the Legislature in a few weeks, and to continue working with leaders in both parties in order to deliver a thorough and efficient public education for students across our Commonwealth.
“As I said in my first budget address: we must approach this responsibility with hope and ambition – because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to do right by our kids, to fund our schools, and to empower parents to put their kids in the best position for them to succeed.”
As Governor Shapiro made clear in his budget address, he knows the foundation of safe and strong communities across Pennsylvania is an adequate and equitable public education – calling for historic public education funding in his very first budget, as well as fighting for universal free breakfast in our schools. Governor Shapiro got that done.
The Governor firmly believes that every child in Pennsylvania deserves the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed. That’s why, in the 2023-2024 budget, Governor Shapiro delivered universal free breakfast, secured the largest increase in public education funding ever, and signed into law historic funding for environmental repairs and upgrades in Pennsylvania schools, student mental health, and millions for student teacher stipends.
In just his first year in office, as the only Governor in the nation with a divided legislature, Governor Shapiro delivered:
- A $567 million increase in basic education funding;
- A $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast for K-12 students;
- $175 million for environmental repairs and upgrades in Pennsylvania schools;
- A $50 million increase in special education funding;
- A $23.5 million investment in workforce training and vo-tech programs;
- $100 million for student mental health;
- $10 million for student teacher stipends.
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