HARRISBURG (July 8 2022) — PA Schools Work, a non-partisan coalition of organizations representing the state’s urban, suburban, and rural communities hailed the education funding increases contained in the 2022-23 state budget just passed by the PA General Assembly.
“The important work of fighting for funding to meet the needs of all Pennsylvania public school students will continue, but today is a day to celebrate the largest education funding increase in the state’s history,” said Donna Cooper of Children First.
“This is an historic billion-dollar investment in public education. We are grateful for the governor’s leadership and the bipartisan work of the Legislature in creating the conditions that made this investment possible,” said Andrea Custis of the Urban League of Philadelphia.
The 2022-23 PA State Budget includes the following:
- Basic Education Funding: $750 million increase, including $225 million in Level Up Funding to the 100 school districts with the greatest need
- Special Education Funding: $100 million increase
- Career & Technical Education Funding: $6.1 million increase
- School-Based Mental Health Services: $100 million
- School Safety and Security: $100 million
“It is an indication of how large the school funding gap has become that this significant investment in state dollars does not come close to what is needed to eliminate Pennsylvania’s public school funding gap,” said Donna Cooper. “Chronic, inequitable underfunding by the state has left school districts struggling to fund their students’ education through local property taxes. The inequity has especially harmed low-income students and students of color. But the size of this budget increase is an important acknowledgment by our elected officials of that gap.”
“This budget takes school districts a step further away from the longstanding funding imbalance, rather than digging them deeper,” said Mark DiRocco of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA). “For the first time in recent history, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved a funding increase larger than the rise in state-mandated costs for school districts.”
“We are extremely pleased with the state’s investment into special education. This money will have a tremendous impact on the educational outcomes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the Commonwealth,” said Sherri Landis of The Arc of Pennsylvania.
“The hard work of our coalition of parents, educators, administers, advocates, and community and business leaders successfully built the public will that enabled this billion-dollar increase to happen,” said Susan Spicka of Education Voters PA
“Significant increases in future years will be required for the state to meet its constitutional requirement to provide for a thorough and efficient public education,” added Deborah Gordon Klehr of Education Law Center. “We all must continue the work to achieve that goal.