PCCY Responds to Wolf Budget Proposal
A Conservative Down Payment On What Our Children Need
Governor Wolf proposed a budget that puts the state’s 2.6 million children first. While much more must be done to open-up the doors of opportunity for every child in every community, this proposal is a sustainable down payment on the needs of the Commonwealth’s kids. For this reason, this proposal deserves the support of the members of the General Assembly on both sides of the aisle.
Specifically, the Governor’s proposal to increase spending for pre-K and Head Start ($40 million), Home Visiting ($6.5 million), child care ($23 million), public schools and special education ($120 million) and career and technical education ($50 million), demonstrates that the Governor is determined to do what it takes so the next generation is prepared to succeed.
There remains much more to be done. Even with new funding for schools, the legislature’s funding formula shows that districts across the state are $3 billion short of what they require. Investments for pre-K and quality child care may mean thousands more children have better access, but even with this increase 58% of children eligible for publicly funded pre-k and child care have no access at all.
Still, we laud the Governor’s commitment to better preparing children to succeed and prosper. The gains to be made are contingent on sufficient state revenues that keep the budget in balance. We urge the legislature to heed the will of Pennsylvanians and finally enact a reasonable severance tax on natural gas, or to have the courage to find other sustainable revenues, so that the final budget once enacted puts the full menu of the proposed investments in children in place this July.