Key Issue: School Funding
On Feb. 9, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a state budget that will erase the looming $2 billion budget deficit, balance the state budget, and make sure that Pennsylvania has the resources to invest in public schools for years to come.
But, as he proposed his budget, the governor made clear that a crisis is looming unless lawmakers take steps to solve it. If the budget deficit isn’t fixed, public schools could face $1 billion in funding cuts.
“Anyone who says this isn’t a crisis is just wrong,” said PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak. “Gov. Wolf has a solution to fix it. We need to get this done, and we need PSEA members to speak out to their legislators until it is.”
Learn more about Gov. Wolf's budget proposal
Gov. Wolf's state budget proposal would end Pennsylvania's school funding crisis. The governor proposed a $350 million school funding increase for the rest of the 2015-16 school year, and another $200 million increase for the 2016-17 school year.
The governor warned that if lawmakers don't pass a fair, balanced budget that funds our schools, the state's deficit will hit $2 billion next year – and that means public school funding will get cut by $1 billion.
School Funding Resources
School Funding Crisis: By the numbers
Pennsylvania's 500 school districts and 1.8 million public school students are in the middle of a school funding crisis. Pennsylvania still doesn't have a balanced, full-year budget for the 2015-2016 school year, and for six months school districts didn't receive a nickel in state funding. The partial 2015-2016 budget only provides six months of basic education funding, so some school districts may not have the resources to stay open for the entire school year.
How bad is the school funding crisis? Here's a snapshot that explains why it is so important to pass the governor's budget plan.
||Pennsylvania's national rank in school funding equity.
||Pennsylvania's national rank in state support for public education.
||The amount of interest school districts have paid on loans and borrowing to keep their doors open during the school funding crisis.
||The percentage of school districts that can not make it through the 2015-2016 school year without borrowing, according to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
||The percentage of money schools spend on classroom instruction that comes from the state's basic education subsidy.
||The amount of state funding that will need to be cut from public education if the governor's budget plan doesn't pass.