Governor Corbett’s Budget Includes Record $11.63 Billion in State Education Funding

Press Release from the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Exterior of the Hetzel Union Building at Penn ...

Harrisburg – Supporting Pennsylvania’s children of all ages, Governor Tom Corbett’s budget provides record education funding and increases funding in early childhood intervention, early learning, childcare subsidies and health insurance enrollment efforts.

Most notably, it includes a record $11.63 billion in early, basic and higher education funding for Pennsylvania’s students and $445 million to support and grow the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) so that more than 200,000 children in Pennsylvania will be able to receive affordable healthcare.

Specifically, Governor Corbett’s budget provides:

Increased Funding for Early Childhood Intervention and Education

Early education programs, such as pre-kindergarten, are slated to receive $348.4 million, an increase of $11.4 million. This includes:

  • $221.9 million for Early Intervention – $5 million increase
  • $87.3 million for Pre-K Counts – $4.5 million increase
  • $39.2 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance – $1.9 million increase

“Investing in a quality early child care and education is critical to Pennsylvania’s future economic and workforce development,” Corbett said.

Historic Support for Basic Education

Education remains the largest portion of Pennsylvania’s state budget. More than 41 cents of every taxpayer’s dollar is earmarked for education.

Since taking office, Corbett has increased state support of public schools by $1.17 billion, or 14 percent.

This year’s education funding represents an increase of $272.3 million over last year’s budget.

“Governor Corbett has consistently invested more money in support of public schools since taking office,” Acting Secretary of Education Dr. William E. Harner said. “The governor remains committed to ensuring that Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students have access to high-quality academic and educational programs.”

State support of public schools will increase over last year by $257 million to $9.75 billion.

This includes $5.52 billion for the Basic Education Funding line item, which is the single largest line item distributed to the state’s 500 school districts. This is a $122.5 million increase over last year.

Additional state subsidies that support public schools contained within in the budget, include:

  • $1.02 billion for Special Education Funding
  • $100 million for Accountability Block Grants
  • $62 million for Career and Technical Education
  • $3 million for equipment grants for career and technical programs
  • $864,000 for the Mobile Science Education Program – $214,000 increase
  • $626 million for pupil transportation – $6 million increase
  • $495 million for School Employees’ Social Security
  • $1 billion for School Employees’ Retirement – $161 million increase

Higher Funding for Higher Education

The budget provides $1.59 billion – a $6 million increase – for Pennsylvania’s higher education system, including:

  • $344.9 million for student grants through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA);
  • $412.8 million for the State System of Higher Education, which oversees the 14 state-owned universities;
  • $503.5 million for the four state-related universities:
    • $139.9 million for Temple University
    • $214.1million for Penn State University
    • $136.3 million for the University of Pittsburgh
    • $13.2 million for Lincoln University, an increase of $2 million, or 18 percent;
  • $10.3 million for Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology;
  • $15.6 million for the Pennsylvania College of Technology, an increase of $2 million, or 15 percent; and
  • $261.2 million for the 14 community colleges.

“Even though the state is faced with limited financial resources, Governor Corbett has continued to keep educating our children a number one priority,” Harner said. “Investing in education not only benefits our students, but it provides long-term economic stability for our state and nation.”

Funding for Public Libraries

Pennsylvania’s public libraries will receive a total of $61.1 million, an increase of $261,000:

  • $53.5 million for subsidies to public libraries
  • $1.96 million for the State Library – $11,000 increase
  • $2.5 million for Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • $3 million for Library Access – $250,000 increase

Better Outcomes for At-Risk Children

“We know that at-risk children who receive quality child care services will have a chance at a brighter future; this is why it is important to demand higher quality child care,” Corbett said.

The budget provides $3 million to fund the Rising Stars initiative. This initiative gives child care centers incentives and resources to improve their quality of care for at-risk children.

Another increase in this year’s budget is a $5 million investment into proven prevention and intervention strategies for at-risk youth and juvenile offenders through the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

This includes assessing the individual risks and needs of each delinquent youth, ensuring community protection, and identifying the best and most effective services for youthful offenders. In addition, the funds will be used for:

  • Effective prevention and intervention programs for at-risk children;
  • Strengthening Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system through accurate risk assessment and targeted interventions with high-risk juvenile offenders; and
  • Training programs for juvenile offenders that will help move them into employment.

In addition, Corbett’s budget invests an additional $7 million that will help 1,400 low-income children to receive subsidized child care.


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