We are investing more than ever in our schools and students.

 

While more spending doesn’t equal a better education, we boosted funding for basic, special and early childhood education this year.

The 2018-19 state budget:
- Increases state funding to a record high $12.3 billion for PreK-12 education.
Devotes $30 million to career and technical education to help prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow. 
Creates more opportunities for parents and students with education options to better fit their needs and allow public schools to offer advanced academic programs. The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) got an additional $25 million, bringing the total for the EITC scholarship program to $160 million. 
Boosts funding for higher education by 3 percent for community colleges and state-related universities. The State System of Higher Education schools received a 3.3 percent increase. 

We are preparing students/workers for careers.


Passed a package of bills to improve career and technical education (CTE) opportunities. 
Enacted new vocational instructional certification requirements to attract more experienced vocational-technical educators. (Act 39 of 2018)
Created an alternative pathway for CTE students to demonstrate readiness for high school graduation with alternatives to the Keystone Exam. (Act 6 of 2017)
Formed a new Education Subcommittee on Career and Technical Education - to ensure that this important educational pathway is not overlooked.
Budgeted an additional $30 million for CTE activities, including a $10 million bump for the CTE formula – the first increase in years for its formula. The other $20 million will fund the PAsmart grant program to help increase classes in math, technology, science and information technology, as well as invest in skills training through expanded apprenticeships.

We are working to make schools safer.


Enacted new laws to ensure students are learning in a safe and secure environment. (Act 39 and Act 44 of 2018). These laws will:
Allocate $60 million for a School Safety Grant program, making every school eligible for funding to be used toward security measures they prioritize. 
Require at least one security drill per school year in place of a fire drill and allow schools to conduct two additional school security drills in place of two fire drills. (originally HB 2215)
Allow security discussions for public school entities to be held in executive session. (originally HB 2327)