PA SCHOOLS WORK STATEMENT ON BUDGET WITH INCREASES IN BASIC, SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING, AND FIRST CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION INCREASE IN YEARS

(Harrisburg, Pa.) — PA Schools Work issued the following statement upon passage of a 2018-19 state general fund budget bill that includes increased funding for basic, special, and career and technical education:

“We’re pleased that the Legislature has passed a timely budget that makes public education a priority,” said Charlie Lyons, the group’s spokesperson. “The additional funding for basic and special education and this budget’s first increase for career and technical education in eight years are vital investments for our future.”

“This a small step in the right direction, but more will be needed moving forward,” Lyons added. “Right now, 429 of the 500 school districts in Pennsylvania are not getting their fair share of funding from the state. As a result, nearly half of all districts are not spending an amount adequate to educate students for success. Many more reach an adequate spending level only because local taxpayers are filling the gap left by the state.”

“State special education funding for children with disabilities is still falling behind. Over the last several years, special education costs have gone up by nearly 29%, but state funding increased by a little over 4%, leaving school districts to cover these costs,” said Lyons. “PA Schools Work will be focusing on how to gain more significant increases in state investment over the next several years to make sure all students get what they need in the classroom.”

PA Schools Work is a nonpartisan statewide campaign working to ensure all Pennsylvania students have the resources they need to succeed