Susan Spicka, Executive Director of Education Voters of PA, made the following statement about Governor Wolf’s 2017-2018 budget proposal:
We recognize that this is a difficult budget year and are encouraged by Governor Wolf’s continued commitment to taking steps toward adequately funding public education in the commonwealth.
Governor Wolf’s proposed increases of $100 million in Basic Education Funding, $25 million in Special Education Funding, and $75 million in high quality early childhood education are welcome new investments in Pennsylvania’s children.
Our public schools give Pennsylvania’s children the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their dreams after graduation and, ultimately, to get decent jobs with good pay so that they can be contributing members of our society.
We know that where Pennsylvania’s public schools are well-funded in the state, they get results that are equal to or better than any schools anywhere in the world, public or private.
We need to build on the successes we see in many Pennsylvania schools and make that a reality in EVERY school in the commonwealth. And the only way to make that happen is to do in every school what they do in the most successful schools: significantly invest in education.
Greater investments in public education are necessary if we hope to close the funding and opportunity gaps in school districts throughout the commonwealth that shortchange too many of Pennsylvania’s children. Pennsylvania ranks at the bottom in the nation in terms of state share for funding schools. Inadequate state funding means too many communities are unable to provide students with the resources they need, and too many children are left behind.
While we are grateful for additional investments in public education during this difficult budget season, as we look to the future, we most strongly encourage Harrisburg to take steps toward generating the new revenue that will be necessary to adequately fund our public schools system and ensure that every child will have an opportunity to learn.