(WHTM) – In his final state budget address Governor Tom Wolf proposed a multi-billion plan to support education for students K-12 and in both the state college and PASSHE systems.
The largest single expenditure in the Governor’s proposal focuses on increasing funding for the Basic Education Fair Funding Formula by $1.25 billion.
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Wolf’s proposal also features a $200 million investment in the Nellie Bly Tuition Program, which provides financial assistance for PASSHE and community college students whose focus involves programs in high-need sectors of the commonwealth such as health care, education, and public service
It also adds an additional $125 million for higher education institutions, including a $75 million increase for PASSHE.
Wolf’s full education proposal can be read below:
Investing in Pennsylvania’s Kids by Prioritizing Education at Every Level
- Invests in K-12 education by increasing funding for the Basic Education Fair Funding Formula by $1.25 billion; $300 million in Level Up funding; and $200 million in Special Education Funding
- Provides $60 million for Pre-K Counts and $10 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program
- Provides $1.2 million in funding to expand access to Early Intervention tracking by adding postpartum depression as a category for early identification
- Includes $77.7 million in federal funds to support increased Child Care Works base rates to ensure continued stability for child care facilities and to make quality child care more affordable and accessible for families
- Utilizes $44.3 million in federal funds to reduce co-payments for families enrolled in Child Care Works and proposes $6.1 million to incentivize non-traditional child care to increase access for parents that do not have traditional work schedules
Advancing Fairness, Equity, and Quality in the Public Education System
- Reforms the Charter School Law to save school districts $373 million by applying the Special Education Formula to all public schools ($174 million) and establishing a Statewide Cyber Charter Tuition Rate ($199 million annually). Also includes improvements to the redirection process
- Lowers the maximum administrative set-aside for scholarship organizations participating in the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit or Education Improvement Tax Credit programs from 20 percent to 5 percent, allowing up to $41 million in additional scholarships without increasing taxpayer aid
- Proposes increasing the minimum teacher salary to $45,000 per year to ensure the commonwealth can attract the highest quality educational talent
Supporting College Students and Postsecondary Pathways
- Proposes to invest $200 million in the Nellie Bly Tuition Program which provides financial assistance for PASSHE and community college students whose focus involves programs in high-need sectors of the commonwealth such as health care, education, and public service
- Invests an additional $125 million for higher education institutions, including a $75 million increase for PASSHE
- Establishes a grant program to support the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative which addresses college hunger by investing $1 million to combat food insecurity
- Invests an additional $500,000 in the It’s On Us PA initiative to better protect students from sexual violence
- Proposes a $500,000 investment in Adult Education and Family Literacy program to provide support for adult learners and increase access to education and career pathways