Governor Wolf Highlights Historic Education Investments, Commitment to Equity in Funding
Harrisburg, PA (STL.News) Governor Tom Wolf joined school officials and education stakeholders today in Allentown to highlight his ongoing commitment to ensuring Pennsylvania continues to invest equitably in education.
“Our historic investments in education throughout my administration are ensuring a better future for our children and a stronger Pennsylvania, and we must continue to do so equitably. Through sound fiscal management, we have been able to make meaningful investments in education and this work must continue,” Gov. Wolf said. “Through these ongoing efforts, we are setting up a Pennsylvania where all students receive a top tier education, where local taxpayers aren’t shouldering the bulk of the responsibility for funding schools, and where all Pennsylvanians have an opportunity to succeed.”
Level Up, first funded in last year’s budget, provided a $100 million equity supplement to the state’s 100 most underfunded school districts. The governor’s current budget proposal calls for $300 million to ensure that children receive an equitable education regardless of the financial resources available in their community.
State Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-132nd), who introduced the Level Up initiative as legislation last year, talked about the groundbreaking effort.
“Every student in Pennsylvania deserves access to world-class education in their neighborhood, regardless of zip code. Level-Up offers Pennsylvania’s most economically distressed districts access to the resources they need to make that possible,” Schlossberg said. “Thanks to Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania took the first steps to implementing Level-Up last year. Now we need to take it to the next level. I am proud to stand with Governor Wolf to see that through.”
Also joining the governor were Rep. Peter Schweyer, (D-22nd); Allentown School District Superintendent Dr. John D. Stanford; school board President Nancy Wilt, and Dr. Karen Beck Pooley, steering committee member for Pennsylvanians for Fair Funding and board member for Bethlehem Area School District.
“As an Allentown School District dad, there are two things I see every day – smart and talented kids and a school district that struggles with too few teachers and resources,” Schweyer said. “Level Up is the solution we need to make sure that these talented students have the resources they need to achieve their full potential.”
The governor’s final budget 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:
- $70 million for Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance.
- $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 increase for Level Up.
- $200 million increase for Special Education.
- $125 million for higher education institutions.
During the past seven years, through sound fiscal management, Governor Wolf has secured an additional $1.8 billion in funding for pre-K through college, including more than $1.1 billion for basic education, $190 million for special education, and $40 million for career and technical education.
The 2022-23 budget builds on these successful education and workforce development programs, further extending high-quality education to more Pennsylvanians; and laying a strong foundation for Pennsylvania’s future workers, citizens, and leaders.