HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal includes millions of dollars in investments for education.
Highlighting the educational funding is an increase of $567.4 million, or 7.8%, in basic education funding.
There’s also an increase of $103.8 million for special education funding and $38.5 million to continue to provide universal free breakfast for all Pennsylvania students.
Shapiro says the budget includes investments of up to $66.7 million in childcare services for low-income families, an increase of $30 million for the Pre-K Counts program, and $2.7 million for funding for the Head Start Supplemental Program to address staffing shortages in early childhood education programs.
Included in the proposal is $100 million for school safety and security grants through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee.
An additional $100 million is included to reduce and remove environmental hazards in schools.
Shapiro also proposed a $60 million increase in funding for higher education institutions:
o Community Colleges: $5.1 million
o Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education: $11 million
o Penn State University: $17.2 million
o Pennsylvania College of Technology: $1.9 million
o Transfer to Agricultural College Land Scrip Fund: $1.2 million
o University of Pittsburgh (including Rural Education Outreach): $11 million
o Temple University: $11.2 million
o Lincoln University: $1.1 million
o Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology: $389,000
o University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine: $633,000
o University of Pennsylvania Center for Infectious Disease: $38,000
“This budget is packed with commonsense solutions to the problems the people of Pennsylvania face every single day,” said Shapiro. “This budget lowers costs and cuts taxes for Pennsylvanians, It cuts red tape, speeds up permitting, and supports business. It strengthens our communities and makes them safer and more just. It protects our environment and invests in public health. And it starts the long process of making our education system more fair so that every child in this Commonwealth has a shot. The people of Pennsylvania have entrusted us with the responsibility to negotiate and come together. So instead of playing politics as usual, let’s show the people that we are up to this task.”