Senator Pat Browne E-Newsletter

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State Budget Makes Historic Investments in Education

There is perhaps nothing more important in a young child’s life than the solid foundation they receive from a great education. With the passage of Pennsylvania’s state budget, our Commonwealth is again making new and significant investments in education at all levels to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.

This budget provides the largest single-year increase in education funding for all levels of education, from Pre-K to our State Universities. Specifically, the budget includes:

  • $300 million more for Basic Education. –
    • $200 million run through the Basic Education Funding Formula (which brings the total amount of new funding run through the formula since its adoption to $900 million)
    •  $100 million for “level up” funding for the 100 most disadvantaged districts.
  • $50 million more for Special Education.
  • $25 million more for Pre-K.
  • $5 million more for Head Start.
  • $20 million more for Ready to Learn Block Grants.
  • $50 million more for PA State System of Higher Education for modernization.
  • $40 million more for EITC.

Throughout my career in the General Assembly, I have worked with my colleagues to increase funding for all of our local school districts. Building upon past efforts, this budget does just that. The following local school districts will receive:

  • Allentown School District – $15,971,950 increase in funding.
  • Parkland School District – $1,093,794 increase in funding.
  • East Penn School District -$719,388 increase in funding.
  • Northwestern Lehigh School District – $117,559 increase in funding.
  • Northern Lehigh School District – $153,730 increase in funding.
  • Southern Lehigh School District -$159,120 increase in funding.

The 2021-22 State Budget continues the legislatures commitment to adequately funding the state’s Basic Education Funding Formula (sometimes coined as the “Fair Funding Formula”). This formula, which I developed as Chairman of the Basic Education Funding Commission in 2014, helps to more equitably distribute new education dollars. This formula has helped school districts, like Allentown, as it provides more funding to those schools with greater challenges, without reducing any other school district’s previous funding.

This budget runs $200 million more through the Basic Education Funding Formula, bringing the total amount of education dollars being distributed through the formula to a little under $1 billion. Additionally, the state is committing $100 million dollars in “level up” funding for the 100 most disadvantaged school districts.

I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the General Assembly and the Governor to craft a budget that makes education a priority. We have made great strides to help ensure that all levels of education have the resources they need to inspire and build the leaders of tomorrow. I will continue advocate and work to reform our education system for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.

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