Weekly Update: Shoring up the Rainy Day Fund, Overhauling Workforce Development, Investing in Classrooms

July 16, 2018

Making a historic deposit in the Rainy Day Fund

Last week, Governor Wolf announced a $22 million deposit into the state’s Rainy Day fund, the first in nearly a decade. The governor was joined by Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella for the announcement.

“This deposit into the Rainy Day fund helps stabilize our budget for the first time in nearly a decade and exceeds some pre-budget estimates that the fund would receive $14 million,” Gov. Wolf said. “This Rainy Day fund deposit is a nest egg that we hope to grow, and an indicator of fiscal responsibility and stability that is a sign of clearer skies ahead.”

The Rainy Day fund reserve is a sign of both fiscal responsibility and the possibility of maintaining fiscal health, which can result in higher bond ratings. It was possible because of various savings initiatives the Wolf Administration has under taken over the past three-and-a-half years, which resulted in total recurring savings of $ 2.2 billion.

Workforce Development and 21st Century Skills Learning

Governor Wolf visited York and Pittsburgh to highlight his first-of-its-kind PAsmart initiative. On Wednesday, the Governor was joined by labor and business leaders, including Microsoft, and several cabinet secretaries to launch the next phase of PAsmart, an innovative $30 million investment in workforce development. During the press conference in York, the governor signed an executive order to cut red tape and improve coordination between several state agencies to more effectively deliver workforce development services to Pennsylvanians.

“PAsmart is bringing together labor, industry, the tech sector, education, state government and more to connect people of all ages with STEM and computer science education, apprenticeships and other training needed to get good, middle class jobs,” said Governor Wolf. “By listening to workers and businesses, we will focus job training on in-demand jobs, create a talented workforce, and grow the economy for everyone.”

On Thursday, Governor Wolf was joined by local officials and workers at the IBEW Local 5 and Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association Apprenticeship Training Center in Pittsburgh to announce that PAsmart includes a $10 million investment in apprenticeships and other job training opportunities.

Increasing Access to Pre-K

Governor Tom Wolf announced that more Pennsylvania families will have access to high-quality early learning programs, with approximately 2,125 new slots in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and 490 new slots in the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP).
“Expanding access to high-quality, early childhood education is one of my top priorities,” Gov. Wolf said.

Retaining Qualified Teachers

The governor announced the Pennsylvania Department of Education awarded approximately $2 million in grants to eight universities to develop and implement year-long residency programs for teachers and principals, a critical element in his commitment to increasing and retaining the number of qualified instructors and school leaders serving the commonwealth’s public schools.

The organizations and awards include:
Implementation/Expansion Grant Awards – Financial support to teacher or principal/school leader residents who undergo a full year of clinical experience before earning their instructional or administrative certification.

  • Drexel University, Philadelphia – $710,275
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana – $578,038
  • Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh – $157,364

Planning Grant Awards – Strategies for embedding a full year of clinical residency experience for teacher or school leader candidates within their preparation program:

  • Cabrini University, Radnor – $74,688
  • Lehigh University, Allentown – $56,771
  • Millersville University, Millersville – $75,000
  • Penn State Harrisburg, Harrisburg – $74,726
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia – $74,575

Governor Wolf’s Week, July 8-14, 2018

Tuesday, 7/10/2018

Wednesday, 7/11/2018

Thursday, 7/12/2018

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