Overall winners in Governor Wolf’s Budget Address this week? Kids. But it’s not all good news…
THE GOOD 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.
THE BAD 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.
“The Keystone Savings Accounts idea represents an enlightened understanding of how state government can be used to benefit individuals and, ultimately, society.” Inquirer Editorial on State Treasurer Joseph Torsella’s plan for free college savings accounts for PA babies. READ MORE
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