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HARRISBURG (Feb. 6, 2018) – Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today after Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled a proposed FY 2018-19 state budget that continues to make public education a top priority by recommending critical funding increases for basic education, special education, higher education, and career and technology education.
“Gov. Wolf has made funding for Pennsylvania’s public schools his top priority, and he’s delivered. Under his leadership, school funding has increased steadily over the past three years, and our public schools have the resources to make the investments our students need to learn.”
Funding for public schools
Gov. Wolf proposed a $100 million increase in basic education funding, a $20 million increase in special education funding, and a $40 million increase in funding for pre-kindergarten programs.
“Gov. Wolf knows that investing in our public schools is one of the most important things state government can do. He’s said that from the moment he took office, and he’s never wavered in his commitment to Pennsylvania’s public schools and the 1.7 million students who learn there. This budget proposal continues that commitment, and PSEA is proud to support it.”
Career and technical education initiative
Gov. Wolf proposed a new, $60 million initiative aimed at increasing the capacity of career and technical education programs so that they can serve even more Pennsylvania students, workers, and businesses, including a $10 million increase in the career and technical education subsidy.
“Gov. Wolf’s plan to invest in career and technical education and connect students to good-paying jobs is a home run. Now more than ever, businesses are looking for students with technical skills – and they’re willing to hire these well-trained kids right away. That’s why these kinds of programs have always been a good investment.
“With the kind of additional state support that Gov. Wolf has proposed, we can grow these programs even more, attract more talented kids to enroll, and promote just how much they can help the businesses that hire them grow and succeed.”
Gov. Wolf proposed a $15 million increase for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education in order to continue to provide the state resources necessary to fund high-quality, affordable state universities.
“The State System of Higher Education is a key part of our education system. These universities provide an excellent, cost-effective access point for a college education to more than 100,000 students. Making sure that they are adequately funded is absolutely essential to our students and our commonwealth’s future.”
McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 181,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.