HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf joined legislators and education advocates Wednesday, to celebrate the signing of the largest investment in public education in state history.
According to the Governor’s Office of Communications, the budget makes a historic $416 million increase in state funding for public education.
You can watch the event by clicking in the player above.
“This is a budget that invests in Pennsylvanians,” said Gov. Wolf. “It is a budget that will help those hit hardest by the pandemic get the support they need, while at the same time making crucial investments in our future by supporting the students and workers who will drive our economy forward in the years to come.”
The plan outlines investments to support the needs of schools and students, including:
- A $200 million increase in the Fair Funding Formula,
- $100 million to support underfunded school districts through the Level Up initiative,
- $50 million in special education funding,
- $30 million for early education,
- $20 million for Ready to Learn,
- $11 million for preschool Early Intervention,
- $5 million for community colleges.
Governor wolf added, “There is more – much more – that needs to be done to fully provide for the needs of our commonwealth’s students and the future of our workforce.”
The governor also highlighted the Level Up funding initiative that provides a $100 million equity supplement to the state’s 100 poorest school districts.
“Level Up will help us level the playing field, and make sure students in underfunded districts aren’t being left behind,” said Gov. Wolf.
The Governor’s Office added, “Because each of these districts lacks the wealth from property taxes to meet the needs of students, most have high property tax rates, but without the resources their students need and deserve.”
“I’ve visited many of those underfunded schools, and it is clear that our funding doesn’t treat every student the same,” said Wolf. “Every student deserves a chance to learn, and Level Up will help give them that chance.”