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School Funding: A critical investment in the future


The economic strength of our townships, boroughs, and cities is inextricably linked to the opportunities our public schools provide and how those opportunities are funded. Education is a critical investment for the economic and social success of individuals, 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. 

Below is an archive of Partners for Public Education web posts about school funding.

Story Archive

Partners Post: June/July 2018

June/July 2018 

Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers from both parties worked together to enact a budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year that makes critical investments in public education along with other pro-public education policies.

Partners Post: May 2018

May 2018

Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers are working to finalize the 2018-19 state budget, a spending plan in which the governor has made school funding a top priority. Gov. Wolf is pushing hard to increase funding for public schools and reverse the nearly $1 billion in funding cuts enacted in 2011.

Partners Post: February 2018

February 2018

Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2018-19 budget recommends critical funding increases for basic education, special education, higher education, and career and technical education.

Education advocates come to Harrisburg

June 2017

More than 100 members of the PA State Education Association came to Harrisburg this month for PSEA’s Lobby Days to meet and talk with policymakers about their schools, students, and professions.

Making students a priority

June 2017

Education advocates took the PA Capitol — and Twitter — by storm last week to urge state lawmakers to invest at least $100 million more in basic education in the new budget.

PA lawmakers poised to pass a state budget

June 2017

PA’s governor and General Assembly are constitutionally required to do only one thing each year: adopt a budget. And that spending plan for the state is due July 1 — this Saturday.

Investments in public schools pay off

April 2017

When we take a moment to appreciate the tremendous opportunity that educators have to shape young people into good, caring, strong leaders, we see how important it is to invest in our schools.

Money matters in education. Just ask these districts.

June 2016

In a new report out this month, researchers with the National Education Policy Center found that in order to improve student performance, schools need adequate and equitable funding — especially in schools educating children living in poverty.

Some good news from Harrisburg

June 2016

On June 2, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a school funding formula into law recognizing that districts with higher needs should get a bigger share of state funding increases.

School survey sheds light on lost learning opportunities

June 2016

According to a survey by two professional organizations representing school officials, 34 percent of school districts expect increases in class sizes, 46 percent project cuts to staff, and 50 percent are looking at more cuts to educational programs. Property taxes are also expected to go up in 85 percent of districts surveyed.

PA students deserve better

June 2016

The most pressing issue facing lawmakers today is passing a budget with the revenues needed to end the school funding crisis and to put the state’s fiscal house in order.

An on-time budget, but will it invest in schools?

May 2016

Spokespeople for Gov. Tom Wolf and state legislative leaders say next year’s budget will be completed on time — or pretty darn close. The big question is: Will the 2016-17 budget make the investments in public education that our students need?

Strength of our economy starts with good public schools

April 2016

High-quality education is one of the best investments Pennsylvania can make in its future. It will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen the state’s overall economy than anything else.

Want to deliver your message in person?

April 2016

Come to Harrisburg on Monday, May 2 at 12:30 p.m. for the Rally for Public Education in the Main Rotunda of the State Capitol.

You can help

April 2016

All state lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf need to work together to address Pennsylvania’s school funding challenges. Otherwise, Pennsylvania will be looking at a massive school funding cut next year — and all the educational program cuts, staff layoffs, and property tax increases that will come with it.

Budget passes, but school funding crisis lives on

April 2016

After a nine-month impasse, Pennsylvania has a budget. That’s the good news. The bad news is this budget does little to address a school funding crisis that is gripping many of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.

Let’s make sure PA invests in great schools for years to come

February 2016

On Feb. 9, Gov. Tom Wolf laid out a plan to close the budget deficit, end the school funding crisis, and make sure that Pennsylvania has the resources to invest in public schools for years to come. The governor’s budget plan will increase school funding by $350 million in the current 2015-16 school year and by another $200 million in 2016-17.

Pennsylvania moves toward a budget that invests in our schools

December 2015 

It may be nearly six months late, but Pennsylvania lawmakers and the governor are moving toward passing a final budget that invests an additional $350 million in our public schools and $50 million in special education.

Budget Update: Impasse persists as financial crisis grips struggling school district

September 2015 

The ongoing state budget impasse has created a great deal of uncertainty for many school districts, but nowhere is that more evident than in Chester Upland in Delaware County.

Budget update: Schools open without state funding

August 2015 

Pennsylvanians ranks education and school funding as top priorities in public polls. So it is little surprise then that funding for the state’s public schools continues to be at the center of talks on the two-month overdue state budget.

High-quality education is an investment in the future

June 2015

High-quality education is one of the best investments Pennsylvania can make in its future. It will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen the state’s overall economy than anything else.

School districts vow to invest additional state funding in the classroom

June 2015

School districts across Pennsylvania plan to use additional state funding in next year’s budget to support high-quality early childhood education, reduce class sizes, and hire back teachers and other staff who were laid off as a result of budget cuts.

Money matters: Investments in public schools make a difference

June 2015

Pennsylvania school children depend far too much for their educational and economic opportunities on the ability and willingness of local taxpayers to provide the required resources.

Five things you need to know about Gov. Wolf’s budget

June 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget invests an additional $500 million in public school classrooms — $400 million for basic education and $100 million for special education — and another $120 million in early childhood education. 

Making sense of the state budget process

June 2015

Pennsylvania’s governor and General Assembly are constitutionally required to do only one thing each year: Adopt a budget. A budget is quite simply a spending plan for the state. It allocates how much funding each state department and agency will be given to carry out key services and programs, including the operation of public schools.

What is a child’s education worth?

June 2015

Every June, Harrisburg is abuzz as lawmakers and the governor hash out a state budget for the next fiscal year. One of the biggest points of discussion this June is just how much officials are willing to invest in our public schools.

Coalition proposes a new way to fund Pa. schools

March 2015 

Imagine a school funding system in Pennsylvania that strategically directs resources to the students and school districts with the greatest needs. Imagine one that invests enough so that every child in the commonwealth can succeed. A diverse coalition of education advocates, faith groups, and business leaders have spent several months putting together a proposal to do just that.

Budget update: Gov. Wolf proposes historic increase in state education funding

March 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf presented a state budget plan this month that, if adopted by the Legislature, will make a historic increase in public school funding. Overall, the plan increases funding by more than $500 million, reversing deep cuts that have plunged many school districts into fiscal crisis.

Partnering to help our students: Access to high-quality education builds a stronger Pa. economy

February 2015

High-quality education is one of the best investments Pennsylvania can make in its future. It will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen the state’s overall economy than anything else.

Video: What is basic education funding?

February 2015

The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) explains in this three-minute video how broken Pennsylvania’s basic education funding system has become.

Access to high-quality education builds a stronger Pa. economy

February 2015 

High-quality education is one of the best investments Pennsylvania can make in its future. It will create more economic opportunity for residents and do more to strengthen the state’s overall economy than anything else.

Speak up for school funding

February 2015 

This year, we have a chance to reverse the devastating school funding cuts that resulted in four years of increasing class sizes and cuts to valuable programs that help students succeed.

Pa. must confront big budget shortfall

February 2015 

Balancing the 2015-16 spending plan will be no easy task. The state is facing a funding shortfall estimated at more than $2 billion, due in large part to corporate tax cuts and accounting gimmicks used in last year’s budget

Let’s expect more this year

October 2014 

A new research report finds that school funding cuts have hurt Pennsylvania’s poorest school districts and its neediest students the most, with larger class sizes and a drop in student achievement on standardized test scores.

Lawmakers to take up Philadelphia school funding crisis

September 2014 

One district where students have access to fewer school nurses – as well as teachers, cafeteria workers, office staff, custodians, and many others – due to deep state funding cuts is Philadelphia.

Raise your voice for college affordability: Take the Degrees Not Debt Pledge

July 2014 

Painful funding cuts in recent years have resulted in rising college costs. SSeven out of every 10 Pennsylvania students have crushing student debt of at least $30,000. We can do better.

Funding update: How are schools funded in the new state budget?

July 2014 

Pennsylvania’s 2014-15 state budget, signed by the governor on July 10, includes a modest increase in state education funding, but public school classrooms will still receive hundreds of millions of dollars less than they did three years ago.

New survey tracks damage of school funding cuts, calls for a new direction

June 2014 

A new survey from the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) and Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) finds class sizes have increased in 64 percent of districts since 2010-11, and more cuts to instructional programs and staff layoffs are on the way for school districts across Pennsylvania.

Seven in 10 PA students have crushing student loans of at least $30,000

May 2014 

College-bound high school graduates and their families know that rising tuition and student debt are major issues facing Pennsylvania’s students, parents, and our higher education system.

Facts worth sharing: Money matters in education

May 2014 

When you speak up for public schools, it’s helpful to understand the critical link between funding and academic achievement backed by extensive research, especially when the investments are used to reduce class sizes.

Speak up for common-sense ways to invest in our students

May 2014 

As Partners for Public Education, we believe public education is a top priority and that the school funding crisis needs to be solved. We are counting on policymakers to enact fair and common-sense approaches to reverse the nearly $1 billion in unprecedented school funding cuts passed in 2011.

Could funding cuts jeopardize our schools’ success stories?

May 2014 

Pennsylvania’s public schools are among the best in the nation. Students and educators in Pennsylvania’s public schools have worked hard to maintain quality teaching and learning during the past three years, even in the face of nearly $1 billion in state funding cuts that have driven up class sizes, forced districts to eliminate full-day kindergarten, early childhood programs, and tutoring, and prompted cuts to the arts, foreign language classes, and other key academic programs.

Create opportunities for conversation with the school funding elevator pitch

April 2014

Every time you deliver an elevator pitch on school funding in Pennsylvania, you’re creating an opportunity to inform, educate, teach, and persuade others.

Federal stimulus funds were intended as a bridge to better times, not as a replacement of state funds

March 2014

While much of the federal stimulus funding was treated by Congress as one-time money to be used on non-recurring expenses, the funds used to support K-12 education were understood to be different by both the federal and state governments.

Understanding the governor’s budget proposal

February 2014

We all have seen the impact of nearly $1 billion in state funding cuts since 2011. For the third year in a row, Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget for 2014-2015 would not restore these funds.

Key facts about the governor’s proposed state budget

March 2014

The decision to cut state education funding by nearly $1 billion in 2011 has forced school districts to struggle with choices they should never have to make, choices that could greatly undermine the future of this generation of students.

Hear their stories: Students discuss school funding cuts

November 2013

Watch a video featuring Pennsylvania students discussing school funding cuts.

How does the state budget impact your school district?

August 2013

In 2011, Gov. Tom Corbett slashed nearly $1 billion from Pennsylvania’s public schools, creating a school funding crisis that is getting worse every year these unprecedented cuts are not restored.

Partners for Public Education: School Funding

Support investments in programs that work. Join parents and community partners across the commonwealth. As Partners for Public Education, we know the real reasons behind decisions that affect your students’ education and future careers.

Paid for by PSEA