HARRISBURG — The PA Schools Work Campaign made the following statement regarding the news that Governor Shapiro has signed the 2023-2024 Commonwealth Budget:
“We are pleased that the Commonwealth Budget for 2023-2024 has finally been signed, ending the standoff that threatened funding to numerous vital state programs. With the budget signed, funds can now be distributed to schools, counties, and other providers serving our communities.
“We are also thankful to Governor Shapiro for following through on his commitment to veto funding for private school vouchers. Vetoing the new voucher program will prevent additional precious dollars from being diverted away from Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students.
“While the budget is signed, the job of finalizing how public dollars will be spent in the 2023-24 fiscal year is not yet complete. It is disappointing that Senate leadership is standing in the way of releasing needed funds for programs included in their own budget, including Level Up dollars that benefit students in the most underfunded school districts. And it is ironic that they are now willing to hold up funding for our students in the most underfunded schools specifically because they were unsuccessful in an attempt to institute a new private school voucher program that purports to help (though research shows will not help) these very same students. The Senate should immediately give up its opposition to those important investments and let those much-needed dollars flow to the public schools that need them the most.
“The signing of the budget should set the stage for the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission to develop a long-term plan – including specific adequacy targets – for fixing the broken and unconstitutional public school funding system to provide quality public school opportunities for all students, regardless of what zip code they live in.”