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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Budget ’17

Overall winners in Governor Wolf’s Budget Address this week? Kids. But it’s not all good news…

EDUCATION: $125 million for publicly funded schools, including $25 million for special education. These K-12 funds support businesses, protects taxpayers, and helps children succeed.
EARLY CHILDHOOD: 8,400 more toddlers will get quality pre-k, which will generate $500M for Pennsylvania as those tots grow. Expanding the Nurse Family Partnership/Home Visiting programs will save at least $45M as children grow.
CHILD HUNGER: $2M for School Breakfast programs is a great start to higher student achievement.
POVERTY: Making childcare more affordable for 1000 families means going to work possible. Increasing the minimum wage to $12/hour will help working families.
EFFICENCY: Combining Depts. of Aging, Drugs and Alcohol, Health and Human Services into one agency means less waste, more for critical services.

PENSION: In today’s political climate and with no new revenues for the state, the Governor’s proposed $125M is significant. But school districts’ costs for pensions will increase by $144M next year. We need legislators to find a solution for pensions before it eats more than just our lunch.
SPECIAL CHARTER COSTS: How much of the $25M for special education will reach students who need them? Thanks to the state’s infamous charter school law, districts must send charters more than $100M in excess special education payments every year—money that the charters are NOT required to spend on special education.

PUBLIC MONEY FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS: If Harrisburg is so broke and can’t make the major investments our public schools desperately need, why are some lawmakers so eager to toss $75 million in tax breaks to profitable businesses? Rep. Turzai’s HB 250 will leech $75M from the public coffers and directs it to unaccountable vouchers for private schools. Whose business are they minding?
PROPERTY TAX: The Senate is poised to push through the elimination of property taxes, which would cement school funding inequities. Here’s where it gets really ugly: Taxes that impact the poorest will go up as a result.



URGENT: JOIN @PreK4PA in thanking the governor for putting kids first in his 2017 Budget Address.



State Sen. Tony Williams decries soda tax because it ‘burdens the poor.’ Senator, is it a burden when Pepsi targets the poor for diabetes and obesity?



Get behind the push to amend the tax credit law to help school districts repair crumbling schools by PA’s newest congressman Dwight Evans!

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