United States: Worth Another Look: Schools That Teach
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Governor Tom Wolf gave his eighth and final budget address today, and, without saying as much, proposed a $43 billon state spending plan with the prevalent themes of “jobs that pay, schools that teach and government that works.” The Governor proposed spending funds to support the basic and special education funding formulas, increase assistance to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), and other education initiatives.
Work will begin on the budget next week, when the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold budget hearings with the state agencies, and continue until a final budget is passed by the June 30th deadline. Details on the Governor’s “schools that teach” proposal can be found below.
Investing in Pennsylvania’s kids
- $1.25 billion increase in the basic education fair funding formula
- $300 million increase in Level Up
- $200 million increase in the special education funding formula
- $77.7 million in federal funds to support increased Child Care Works base rates
- $60 million for Pre-K Counts
- $44.3 million in federal funds to reduce co-payments for families in Child Care Works
- $10 million for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program
- $6.1 million to incentivize non-traditional child care
- $1.2 million for Early Intervention services
Advancing fairness, equity, and quality in the public education system
- Establish a statewide cyber charter tuition rate, saving school districts an estimated $199 million annually
- Apply the special education formula to all public schools, saving school districts an estimated $174 million annually
- Lower the maximum administrative set-aside from 20 to 5 percent for scholarship organizations participating in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC), allowing up to an additional $41 million in scholarships for students
- Increase the minimum salary for teachers to $45,000 per year
Supporting college students and postsecondary pathways
- $200 million transfer from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund and federal funds for the Nellie Blye Tuition Program for students at PASSHE schools and community colleges
- $125 million increase for state-related universities and community colleges
- $75 million increase for PASSHE
- $1.6 million increase for the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Infectious Disease
- $1 million to establish a Hunger-Free Campus Initiative
- $663,000 increase for Institutional Assistance grants
- $500,000 increase for the It’s On Us PA initiative
- $500,000 increase to the Adult Education and Family Literacy program
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