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HARRISBURG, PA (July 16, 2019) – Rich Askey, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, today joined Gov. Tom Wolf and other educators and advocates for a press conference related to key investments in public education that are included in the state’s FY 2019-20 state budget.
“I’m proud to stand here today with Gov. Wolf and my fellow education advocates to talk about the great progress we’ve made in funding Pennsylvania’s public schools,” Askey said. “Thanks to Gov. Wolf’s leadership, public education funding has been a top priority over the past five years.
“We’ve made great strides in public education funding over that time.
“Yes, there are many who think we’re still not making these key investments fast enough. But that’s because we know just how important public education is to the future of our state, our nation, and our communities. The fact is that we’re moving in the right direction – and that is making a real difference for our students.
“I have seen firsthand the difference that these funding increases are making. Across Pennsylvania, educators feel respected, students are supported, and public education is working.”
The FY 2019-20 state budget increases funding for basic education by $160 million, special education by $50 million, Pre-K Counts by $25 million, early intervention by $15 million, and Head Start by $5 million. It also provides $7 million more toward career and technical education, $3 million more for career and tech equipment grants, a $4.7 million increase for community colleges, and a $9 million increase for the State System of Higher Education. Additionally, the budget maintains funding for school safety grants at $60 million. Since taking office, Gov. Wolf has secured a $1.4 billion increase in education funding from pre-k through college.
Askey is a Harrisburg music teacher and the president of PSEA. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents about 181,000 active and retired educators and school employees, student teachers, higher education staff, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.