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.

Governor's 2018-19 Budget

Gov. Tom Wolf proposed a 2018-19 budget that includes the following education initiatives:

  • $100 million increase in basic education funding.
  • $20 million increase in special education funding.
  • $40 million increase in pre-kindergarten and Head Start funding.
  • $60 million increase in career and technical education initiatives, including a $10 million increase in the career and technical education subsidy.

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: