K-12 Education Funding in Governor’s Proposal Keeps Up with Inflation, but Larger Down Payment Is Needed This Year
HARRISBURG, PA (March 7, 2023) – The PA Schools Work Campaign, a coalition of more than 30 organizations from across Pennsylvania representing educators; urban, rural, and suburban communities; parents and community leaders working together to increase funding for PA public schools, made the following statement in regards to Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed 2023-24 executive budget:
“Governor Shapiro acknowledged the critical task ahead for Pennsylvania lawmakers and advocates, who are collectively charged with taking steps toward the goal of ensuring that all students, no matter where they live, have the resources necessary to receive an adequate and equitable public education.
“With an historic Commonwealth Court ruling declaring the school funding system in Pennsylvania to be unconstitutional and the $12 billion available in state surplus and reserves, this year offers a rare opportunity to present a budget that does more than keep up with inflation. The wide, unconstitutional funding gap, estimated to be more than $4 billion, took years to create, and the Governor acknowledged that the budget proposal does not provide the funding necessary to fix it.
“Pennsylvania leaders know that this year’s final budget must ultimately go beyond the Governor’s proposal to demonstrate a serious commitment to fixing what the Court has affirmed – an unconstitutional system. We are eager to get started.
“PA Schools Work has proposed increasing school funding by $2.3 billion this year, including at least $1 billion for Basic Education Funding, along with sizable investments in special education, school facilities, career and technical education, and the Level Up program directed to the 100 most underfunded school districts. We look forward to working with legislative leaders and Governor Shapiro toward that achievable goal in this year’s budget.”