Written by Susan Spicka
February 12, 2022

On Tuesday, February 8, Governor Wolf gave his final budget address. His education budget proposal is what PA students, families, and communities deserve.

AND–WE HAVE THE MONEY to make these investments.

Estimates show that Pennsylvania will have an accumulated surplus and unspent funds available of almost $12 billion by the end of June, thanks to a strong economy and higher-than expected tax collections combined with unspent federal dollars.

The state legislature can take a big step toward fixing the inequality and deprivation that we see in PA public schools. In fact, it is their constitutional obligation to do so.

Unfortunately, instead of investing in our children, many Republicans want to try to hoard billions of dollars in cash in Harrisburg and continue to impose austerity on our public schools. They are happy to force property tax increases and another year of grossly inadequate resources in our schools.

We cannot let the legislature get away with an austerity budget when Harrisburg is flush with cash. This is an all hands on deck budget season and we are going to need your help.

Please be on the lookout next week for an email with a menu of options for you to choose from to help this budget season and please commit to a small action or two (or many!!).

Click HERE for slides from our webinar about the budget.

Click HERE for a video recording of our webinar about the budget.

CLICK HERE for spreadsheets that show school district allocations of Governor Wolf’s proposed funding increases.  

Here is what is in the budget

K-12 Education

  • $1.25 billion in basic education funding going through the Basic Education Funding (BEF) Formula.
  • $300 million in Level Up funding that will drive dollars through the BEF formula to  the 100 school districts with the fewest resources available to meet their students’ needs.
  • $200 million increase for special education.  
  • $373 million in savings by more closely matching tuition payments to charters with their actual costs through a flat rate for cyber charter schools of $9,800/student and applying the special education funding formula to all charter schools.

Higher Education

  • $200 million for the Nellie Bly Tuition Program for students attending a PA State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) university or community college to help more students earn a degree with less debt and  encourage them to remain in Pennsylvania.
  • $150 million in one-time federal American Rescue Plan funds for PASSHE to support System Redesign, enhance student success, freeze tuition, and increase student aid to make college more affordable.
  • $75 million increase in General Funds for PASSHE.
  • Community Colleges and Capital Fund – $14.9 million
  • Penn State University – $12.1 million
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology – $1.3 million
  • Transfer to Agricultural College Land Scrip Fund – $2.7 million
  • University of Pittsburgh (including Rural Education Outreach) – $7.7 million
  • Temple University – $7.9 million
  • Lincoln University – $758,000
  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology – $935,000
  • A $663,000 increase for Institutional Assistance Grants, which provide financial assistance to independent nonprofit postsecondary institutions based on the number of State Grant-receiving students.


  • $60 million increase for Pre-K Counts allowing 2,308 more young children to attend early education.  
  • $10 million increase for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program to assist with rising costs.  

I was delighted to join Governor Wolf at a press conference in Erie on Wednesday to support his K-12 education budget proposal–especially the Level Up proposal, which will help accelerate funding to children in schools that have been most harmed by the curent funding system.

Read coverage of the event HERE and watch the press conference HERE.

Thank you for your support of public education. I hope that you’re ready to get to work!!