PSEA praises House vote as positive step for Pennsylvania students
On March 23 the PA House of Representatives made an important statement on behalf of Pennsylvania’s public schools. With bipartisan support, the House approved a $354 million increase for basic education in the budget proposal now forwarded to the PA Senate.
The proposal passed by the House is a move in the right direction, and would continue critical investments in programs that work to improve student achievement.
PSEA President Jim Testerman said the House vote keeps the promise to Pennsylvania’s school children by allocating adequate resources to achieve the goal of strong schools, successful children and vibrant communities.
“I’m pleased that the budget bill passed the House today with bipartisan support,” said Testerman. “Just as our students are making progress in the classroom, we look forward to continuing the progress of this budget as it makes its way through the state Senate. We encourage that chamber to protect the educational needs of Pennsylvania’s children.”
The House bill would, for the second consecutive year, increase K-12 basic subsidies using both state funding and federal stimulus funds. This year's increase would restore last year’s reductions to state funding for public education, which was supplemented by federal stimulus funds. The House measure passed today would bring the Commonwealth back to 2008-09 state funding levels and continue PA's commitment to public education.
The March 23 vote is one step in a long journey to ensuring that necessary investments for public education are included in the final FY2010-2011 state budget scheduled to be adopted no later than June 30.
Testerman noted that PSEA understands the challenge of providing adequate funding for education in the difficult economic climate. Pennsylvania faces the end of federal stimulus funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funds next year. The inclusion of the stimulus funds helped ensure a state budget which continued Pennsylvania’s commitment to investing in education last year.
“While everyone understands these are tough economic times, ensuring that the Commonwealth has a quality public education system is critical for economic development and growing out of this recession,” Testerman said. “We must be mindful that the class of 2023 enters kindergarten next year and we cannot deprive them or any of their fellow students of a solid foundation and the resources to reach their full potential. Now is the time to invest in the next generation who will be our next generation of workers, inventors, artists, and leaders.”