Governor Tom Wolf visited teachers and education stakeholders in Erie today to outline his plan to build on his administration’s record investments in students over the past seven years with a $1.9 billion increase in education from pre-k through college.
“When I took office, I vowed to be a force for change for our students, our schools, and our future, and I am proud to say that over the past seven years, we have turned the tide,” said Gov. Wolf. “We have reversed devastating funding cuts and invested in classrooms. These are historic increases and life-changing improvements, but our work is not finished.”
Pennsylvania is primed for a major education funding increase because of Gov. Wolf’s work to right the state’s shaky finances. From day one, the governor prioritized fiscal responsibility, reversing a $2-$3 billion state budget deficit into a record surplus, while at the same time investing in schools. The commonwealth can now afford a major new investment in schools, students and communities without raising taxes or reducing support for a single district.
Generational Investment in Students
The governor’s budget announced yesterday calls for building on the momentum of previous years with a generational investment of $1.9 billion in education from pre-k through college, including:
- $1.25 billion in basic education funding, bringing the total going through the Fair Funding Formula to more than $2 billion, or 26.5 percent of state funding.
- $300 million for the groundbreaking Level Up initiative launched last year to support the 100 most underfunded schools.
- $200 million increase for Special Education.
“I want Pennsylvania’s classrooms to be the best in the world,” said Gov. Wolf. “I know that if we work together, we can get it done. I need your help to show our state legislators why this investment is vital for our schools. Our students deserve it, and our commonwealth’s future depends on it.”
The governor visited with students and teachers at Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School in Erie and held a press conference to call for an education funding increase that creates a brighter future for young people.
“This is a budget that parents and public education advocates are excited about from Erie to Luzerne to Delaware to Washington to Centre Counties and everywhere in between. We are ready to get to work,” said Susan Spicka, executive director, Education Voters of PA. “State lawmakers need to get on board with this budget and approve it without any cuts. Harrisburg is flush with cash. There is no reason for the General Assembly not to approve these critical investments in our children and in the future of …….