Governor Wolf cements his legacy with historic $3.7 billion in funding for education
Education, Press release
Governor Tom Wolf celebrated a budget that reinforces his commitment to education at all levels with a historic investment increase of $1.8 billion. The Wolf administration has increased education funding by more than $3.7 billion since 2015, ensuring Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to succeed with a high-level education without bearing the bulk of the responsibility for funding schools.
“Since taking office, the students and families of Pennsylvania have been my top priority. We have made long overdue investments in the people of Pennsylvania, including better education for all, safer communities and a brighter future,” Governor Wolf said. “The $1.8 billion education guarantee in this budget reinforces those efforts and translates into a historic investment of $3.7 billion that my administration has made in education at all levels over the past few years. last eight years. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished.
Investing in quality education for all
This budget builds on the governor’s commitment to return resources to schools with a further $1.8 billion increase for students from kindergarten through college. This investment, which includes $850 million in recurring funding to allow school districts to invest in student learning while simultaneously reducing local property taxes, adds to the already historic $1.9 billion increase in dollars of education funding that Governor Wolf secured in previous years for a total of $3.7 billion in new education funding under the Wolf administration.
This year’s $1.8 billion increase includes:
- Increase of $525 million through the Equitable Funding Formula. On average, schools in Pennsylvania will see their funding increase by 8%.
- Increase of $225 million for Higher level to provide targeted support to the 100 most needy school districts, ensuring that every child in Pennsylvania has the opportunity to thrive and succeed through equal access to high-quality education, regardless of zip code .
- $100 million increase for special education.
- $79 million increase for early childhood education through Pre-K Counts and Head Start.
- $220 million for public higher education.
Meeting the Needs of Pennsylvanians
This budget prioritizes direct resources for Pennsylvanians and Pennsylvania families, and makes legacy investments in state parks and the environment, including:
- $140 million in direct property tax relief to implement Governor Wolf’s proposed one-time premium rebate through the Property Rental Tax Rebate Program.
- $375 million for safe and affordable housing by creating new housing, repairing existing housing and financing home repairs.
- $90 million to stabilize babysitting Workforce through recruitment and retention payments.
- $25 million for a new child care tax credit to benefit working families in Pennsylvania with children in day care.
- $2 million for the return of women give re-entrants the best opportunity to start afresh and reduce recidivism.
- $1 million for a Hunger Free Campus Initiative which will provide grants to institutions of higher learning to create or expand pantries and further address college food insecurity.
- $100 million for adult mental health services and the creation of a commission dedicated to behavioral health to make recommendations on the allocation of funds.
- $100 million for student mental health support to ensure young people in Pennsylvania have all the resources they need to overcome challenges and succeed through Ready to Learn Global Grants.
- $35 million to recapitalize Student loan relief program for nurses.
- $696 million for conservation, recreation and preservationincluding funding to support the creation of three new state parks and a new ATV park.
In addition to these investments, the budget supports a stronger business economy to bring new businesses and well-paying jobs to Pennsylvania. This is the result of Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) reform to ensure tax equality and fairness and reduce the CNIT to 4.99% by 2031.
Support safer communities
This budget includes funds to help make Pennsylvania communities safer through increased security and mob violence disruption efforts, including:
- Increase of $250,000 for It’s on us PA to further combat sexual assault and make colleges and universities safer.
- $100 million increase for school safety grants to ensure that children learn and grow in safe and healthy environments.
- $50 million for Intervention and prevention of armed violence programs promote local efforts for safer communities.
- $105 million for violence prevention, public safety and safer communities.
- $135 million for local law enforcement support.
- $5 million for nonprofit security grants providing security grants to organizations targeted by hate crimes.
Ensuring financial stability
When Governor Wolf took office, Pennsylvania’s Rainy Day Fund had only $231,800 left. Over the past seven years, the Governor has turned a $2-3 billion structural budget deficit into a multi-billion dollar budget surplus. Governor Wolf will be the first governor since Dick Thornburgh, who left office in 1987, to hand over a budget surplus to his successor.
This budget builds on that foundation by:
- Deposited a record $2.1 billion into the Rainy Day Fund, bringing it down to a historic balance of nearly $5 billion.
- Secure a $5.3 billion surplus, in addition to the Rainy Day Fund balance, for Pennsylvania’s future.
- Make strategic investments to build the Commonwealth to support Pennsylvanians without raising taxes or creating a future tax cliff.