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Key Issue: School Funding

Pennsylvanians are proud of the public schools in their communities. When we invest in public education, we invest in the economic and social success of Pennsylvania students, their families, and the communities in which they live.

The quality of our public schools can influence crime rates, housing needs, health issues, business development, and cultural engagement – all of which are critical to the commonwealth’s social and economic vitality.

Legislative Updates

State budget

Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed a 2017-18 state budget that will nearly reverse $860 million in school funding cuts, with an additional $100 million for basic education and $25 million for special education. His proposal also includes an additional $75 million for pre-K programs like Pre-K Counts and Head Start, as well as funding for an innovative new school breakfast initiative. 

Thanks to the strong advocacy of PSEA members, the 2016-17 state budget included a $200 million increase in basic education funding, a $19 million increase for special education, and a $30 million increase for Pre-K Counts and Head Start. 

Fair funding formula

Pennsylvania’s new school funding formula takes politics out of state funding decisions and directs money based on objective school- and student-specific needs. PSEA worked with lawmakers in both parties and a broad coalition of stakeholders to enact the formula.

Pennsylvania is currently 46th in the nation in state funding of public schools and dead last in equity. This new formula is an important first step toward fixing that. 

1.8 million

“Pennsylvania has 1.8 million students who are looking to elected officials to make sure they have access to public schools with the resources to offer a well-rounded curriculum. Gov. Wolf's budget proposal would make sure they get it. It's time to get this done." - PSEA President Jerry Oleksiak

Additional resources

Learn more about school funding in Pennsylvania: