Key Issue: School Funding

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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.

Take Action

PA state lawmakers plan to take up a state budget plan soon that invests in classrooms, career and technical education, early childhood programs, special education, higher education, and school safety grants.

Since Gov. Tom Wolf took office, he has made public school funding a top priority. The funding increases he’s fought for have erased the 2011 funding cuts that devastated our schools.

Lawmakers are expected to consider a budget plan that includes:

  • $100 million more for basic education funding.
  • $20 million more for special education funding.
  • $60 million more for career and technical education initiatives.
  • $50 to $100 million more for school safety grants.
  • $40 million more for pre-kindergarten and Head Start funding.
  • $10 million for community colleges.
  • $15 million for PA State System of Higher Education schools.

Take a moment to ask your state senator and representative to support a budget plan that puts our schools first.

  • Enter your mailing address in the form and click "Start Writing" to get started.
  • Feel free to adapt the sample email message to make it personal to you.
  • Please do not use your school district email address to email state legislators. PSEA advises members not to send messages during instructional time, and comply with your school district's policies.

Legislative Updates

2017-18 budget

The bipartisan budget plan for 2017-18 that became law on July 10, 2017, includes key public school spending priorities, including:

  • A $100 million increase in basic education funding.
  • A $25 million increase in special education funding.
  • A $30 million increase in pre-kindergarten funding.
  • Restoration of $50 million in cuts to school transportation funding.

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." - PSEA President Dolores McCracken

Additional resources

Learn more about school funding in Pennsylvania: