March 26, 2015

Gov. Wolf’s proposed budget invests in students

PSEA supports Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed state budget plan, which invests in Pennsylvania’s children with a historic increase in school funding at the same time it provides tax relief to property taxpayers.

Gov. Wolf's plan includes:

  • School Funding Increases. Gov. Wolf has proposed a $500 million increase in basic and special education funding – the largest one-year school funding increase in state history.
  • Early Childhood Education Increases. Gov. Wolf has proposed a $120 million increase for Pre-K Counts and Head Start to enroll 14,000 additional Pennsylvania children.
  • Investment in Higher Education and Career Training. Gov. Wolf has proposed a $141 million increase for community colleges, state-related universities, and the State System of Higher Education to help lower tuition and make college more affordable, and $20 million for career and technical education programs and equipment grants, to prepare more students for successful careers after high school. 
  • Property Tax Relief. Gov. Wolf has proposed nearly $3.8 billion in property tax relief, reducing school property taxes by 50 percent for the average homeowner. That comes out to an average $1,000 property tax cut.
  • Marcellus Shale Severance Tax for Education. Gov. Wolf has proposed a fair and popular tax on natural gas drillers which will bring in $1 billion a year for education when it is fully up and running, ending Pennsylvania’s status as the only gas-producing state without a statewide extraction tax.

“Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget plan will invest in Pennsylvania’s students,” PSEA President Mike Crossey said. “His proposal shows that our state can reverse the school funding cuts that have put our schools in crisis at the same time that we make our tax system fairer for working Pennsylvanians.”

Crossey pointed out that Pennsylvania currently ranks 45th in state support for public schools, and that 93 percent of school districts have cut teachers and support staff since 2011 as a result of unprecedented funding cuts.

“The school funding increase Gov. Wolf has proposed is historic,” Crossey said. “But the funding crisis our schools and students are in is just as unprecedented. Gov. Wolf’s budget addresses this crisis head on. That’s exactly what our students need.

“This is a fair approach to balancing the budget, cutting taxes for working families, and doing what is most important for our state – investing in Pennsylvania’s students,” Crossey added. “I look forward to working with Gov. Wolf and with legislators to pass this plan.”




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