Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf proposed his plan for PA State spending for fiscal year 2015-16. I was pleased to see that he is including some significant new investments in education, both for early learning as well as K-12.
Some of the noteworthy proposals include:
- Adding $494 million in Early Childhood Education funding, including:
$197 million to Pre-K Counts, a $100 million increase. Currently, only about 1 in 6 of PA’s 3- and 4-year-olds is enrolled in publicly funded, high-quality Pre-K. If the governor’s proposal is enacted, access would increase to about 1 in 4.
$238 million to Early Intervention, for services for children under 5 years old with developmental delays
- Special Education would increase by $100 million, to about $1.147 billion total
This would be a nearly 10% increase, providing much-needed funds to programs that have only seen budget increases one time in the past 6 (fiscal) years.
- $45.9 million to reduce waiting lists and expand services for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities and autism
Included in this total is an additional $19.3 million to provide home and community-based care to 1,050 individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism, as well as $12.8 million to fully annualize the 2014-15 program expansion.
To read more about Governor Wolf’s budget proposal, visit the PA Office of the Budget site: http://www.budget.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/current_and_proposed_commonwealth_budgets/4566
I certainly agree with Acting Education Secretary Rivera, who said: “The education of Pennsylvania’s children is paramount to our future success and to strengthen the middle class.” Governor Wolf’s proposed budget will propel Pennsylvania onward in its commitment to quality education for all children.