The General Assembly has completed its work and sent a 2021-22 state budget plan to Gov. Wolf, meeting the deadline to have a budget adopted as the new fiscal year begins on July 1. The $40.8 billion budget is a spending increase of $1 billion, or 2.6% from last year’s budget when supplemental spending and federal stimulus spending is included. The governor has indicated that he will sign the budget.
Among the budget highlights for education are a $300 million increase in the basic education subsidy, representing one of the largest increases in history that should offset some of the increases in mandated costs such as pensions and charter school tuition. A $50 million increase in special education funding that matches the substantial increase in special education funding from two years ago and will ensure the state picks up a larger share of special education expenses. It is also positive to see the PSBA-supported $100 million targeted increase to those schools most in need that was included in this budget.
PSBA is pleased that the 2021-22 state budget will prioritize public schools and students. We want to thank each member who spoke up and advocated for increased funding and support. When we started advocating, we were told that no increase was possible. Now we can see the results of your efforts and are grateful for your voice. There is still work to be done – You can count on PSBA to continue our efforts to fight for additional funding as well as charter school funding reform.
Click here to read PSBA’s detailed budget report that includes estimated subsidy charts.
Click here to read PSBA’s news release with our reaction to the spending plan.