The PA General Assembly will finalize today the annual state budget. Senate Bill 1100 (Pat Browne, R-Lehigh), is a $45.2 billion budget plan includes an $850 million increase for K-12 school districts, plus increase spending by 2.9 percent over the 2021-22 budget.
It will also pay down $2 billion in “structural” debt and increase the Rainy-Day Fund to $5 billion, while preserving $3.6 billion of the state’s surplus for future budgets. Items include:
Although the $525 million increase in basic education funding is less than half of Wolf’s $1.2 billion proposal, it is nonetheless a historic boost in state assistance for Pennsylvania public schools, education advocates have said. It also increases Level Up funding for the state’s 100 neediest school districts by $225 million and special education funding by $100 million. One-time grant programs for school security and mental health investments would each receive $100 million. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education would receive a $75 million increase in general fund money and $125 million in pandemic funding to pay for the ongoing process of integrating its campuses.