SB 1466 restores funding for early childhood education
The Senate passed a $27.6 billion budget for Fiscal year 2012-13 on Wednesday, which reaffirms Pennsylvania’s commitment to education at all levels and for vital programs that benefit counties and thousands of citizens, according to Senator Pat Browne.
“I am especially pleased that Senate Bill 1466 restores the state support for early childhood education programs to their current levels,” said Senator Browne, co-chairman of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Early Education Caucus. “We all recognize the importance of programs like Pre-K Counts and Head Start and the benefits they provide to children, families, schools and communities. The money we’re investing today will be more than repaid over the coming years as the young people participating in these programs receive the mentoring that will enable them to become productive members of society in the future.”
Senator Browne actively worked to ensure that funding to restore Pre-K Counts ($4.1 million) and Head Start ($1.8 million) to their FY 2011-12 level was included as part of the restorations in SB 1466.
SB 1466 reaffirms Pennsylvania’s commitment to providing young people with a quality education from the youngest ages through their college years. SB 1466 maintains state support for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities, State System of Higher Education schools and community colleges at their current levels.
The budget bill also includes additional support for local school districts over what the Governor proposed in February. SB 1466 adds more than $132 million in support of education, which includes $50 million for basic education and $50 million for Accountability Block Grants.
Senate Bill 1466 also reinvests significant funding to help counties and local agencies provide essential social and health services and programs for Pennsylvanians with physical and mental disabilities, senior citizens and families.
The bill restores $84 million in funding for the various programs that would be bundled under the Governor’s proposed Human Services Development Block Grant. Under his proposal, funding for multiple county administered programs would be consolidated into a single block grant.
SB 1466 restores $20 million ($10 million state/$10 million federal) in funding for vital Community Mental Retardation and Intellectual Disability programs that assist thousands of Pennsylvanians and their families on a daily basis.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The current fiscal year ends on June 30.