Governor Tom Wolf visited students, educators and elected officials at Lauer’s Park Elementary School in Reading Thursday morning to celebrate the administration’s $3.7 billion investment in public education over the past eight years.
“A good education sets students up for a lifetime of success. And when well-educated students grow up and build their lives here in the commonwealth, their success will power our economy and lead our commonwealth into a brighter future,” Governor Wolf said. “It’s an investment in an educated commonwealth and a roaring economy for decades to come.”
This year’s budget alone includes a record $1.8 billion in education investments.
Speaking at Lauer’s Park Elementary School today, Governor Wolf recalled that proper funding for education was his top priority when he took office in 2015. That priority held true in this year’s budget talks, resulting in:
$525 million increase through the Fair Funding Formula. On average Pennsylvania schools will see their funding increase by 8 percent. $225 million increase for Level Up to provide targeted support to the 100 most in-need school districts, ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania has the opportunity to thrive and succeed through equal access to a high-quality education no matter their zip code. $100 million increase for Special Education. $79 million increase for Early Education through Pre-K Counts and Head Start. $220 million for public higher education.
The investment in education includes $850 million in reoccurring funding to allow school districts to invest in student learning while simultaneously cutting local property taxes.
“Gov. Wolf has made funding for public education a priority and school districts in Berks County are much better for it.” state Sen. Judy Schwank said. “Every student, regardless of ZIP code, should be able to get a high quality education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This is a mission we should all be working towards together, and the only way to accomplish this is to fully fund our public schools and support the teachers we rely on.”
Even before the 2022-23 budget was finalized, the Wolf administration had:
Invested more than $1.8 billion in education from pre-k through college, including the largest single-year education funding increase in state history in 2021. Created the Level Up initiative to provide $100 million to the 100 most underfunded school districts.
Established the Public School Fair Funding Formula to help address chronic inequitable and inadequate funding for school districts in the commonwealth. Invested $116 million in science, computer science and technical education, including $80 million in the innovative PAsmart program, and $36 million in apprenticeships and workforce training.
Modernized standards for science education. Invested more than $130 million in School Safety Grants to make schools and school communities safer.
Reduced the age when students must start school to 6 and raising the high school dropout age to 18 to set students up for a lifetime of success. Launched first-of-its-kind “It’s On Us PA” Campus Sexual Assault Prevention initiative to combat sexual assault and make colleges and universities safer.