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Campaign for Fair Education Funding supports Governor Wolf’s K-12 education budget increase

Campaign for Fair Education Funding supports Governor Wolf’s K-12 education budget increase

But coalition notes significant funding gaps remain

HARRISBURG (February 6, 2018) – The Campaign for Fair Education Funding today issued the following statement in reaction to Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget proposal:

Governor Tom Wolf continues his commitment to Pennsylvania’s future by proposing increased funding for public schools in the budget for the next fiscal year.

Governor Wolf’s proposal to increase basic, special and career and technical education funding by $130 million is desperately needed, but a much larger investment is required over the next several years if schools are to give all students what they need to be prepared for college or a career.

Our schools suffer from years of inadequate and inequitable state funding. The state is simply not paying its fair share: states fund 47 percent of public school costs, on average, but Pennsylvania contributes just 37 percent, among the lowest shares in the country.

This low state share has produced a significant shortfall in basic education funding and created a wide chasm between rich and poor districts. The Campaign projects that about $3 billion in additional investment through the state’s fair funding formula is needed to give schools the resources they need to educate all students to meet academic standards. The lack of fair and adequate state funding for Pennsylvania schools directly impacts all students’ education and life outcomes, particularly among disadvantaged students and students of color. So while we applaud the $100 million in new money in this year’s budget proposal for basic education, we also recognize the significant investment our state must still make in our children and schools.

The special education subsidy for students with disabilities and developmental delays is lagging, too.  The Governor’s $20 million increase in special education is welcome – though more funds are needed here as well to make up for years of stagnant funding for special education.

The Governor’s proposal to invest $10 million more in Career and Technical Education – the first increase in about eight years – is critical. If we want a skilled workforce to keep the state economically competitive, the state must do more so students can have the coursework and learning opportunities to progress towards an industry-based credential in their chosen career.

The Campaign for Fair Education Funding is a coalition of organizations from across Pennsylvania calling for full and fair funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools, so all students have an opportunity to succeed, no matter where they live.