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.

Legislative Updates

2018-19 budget

A bipartisan budget plan for 2018-19 was approved by the Legislature on June 22. It makes key investments in public education, including:

  • $100 million more for basic education funding.
  • $15 million more for special education funding.
  • $30 million more for career and technical education initiatives.
  • $25 million more for pre-kindergarten and Head Start funding.
  • $6.9 million for community colleges.
  • $15 million for PA State System of Higher Education schools.

A separate bill being considered by the Legislature provides school districts $60 million in school safety grants for a menu of security, training, prevention, and counseling programs. It also creates the Safe2Say program, a safe and anonymous way for parents, school staff, students, and community members to report dangerous or criminal acts, threats, or instances of bullying.

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: