Governor Tom Wolf last Friday celebrated a 2022-23 state budget that solidified his commitment to education at all levels with a historic increase in funding of $1.8 billion and additional investments for safer communities, our workforce and businesses, and our natural resources.
The governor’s $45.2 billion capstone budget, which makes long overdue investments and secures Pennsylvania’s financial future, received broad support and high praise from education professionals, business leaders and environmental advocacy organizations from across the commonwealth.
See what they have to say:
AFT Pennsylvania President Arthur Steinberg
“After decades of chronic disinvestment from Pennsylvania’s public schools, this year’s education budget made a leap toward in the direction of full and fair funding. We’re proud to support Governor Wolf in his continued efforts to help ensure every child, no matter their background or zip code, and we applaud these long overdue increases in funding.”
Better PA Acting Executive Director Jan Jarrett
“The historic investment in Pre-K in this year’s budget – an investment in our most precious resource, our kids, and their futures – is the culmination of Governor Wolf’s effective prioritization of early childhood education throughout his two terms in office. This year’s increase of $79 million to improve and make more accessible quality early childhood education across the state will pay dividends for years to come. We applaud Governor Wolf for his leadership on this critical issue, and we welcome the bipartisan support throughout budget negotiations.”
Level Up Coalition
“Level Up is a consequential step in the right direction and long overdue recognition that inequity among districts must be addressed. This funding, which slowly begins to level the playing field for all Pennsylvania students, temporarily eases the burden that superintendents, school boards, and educators in rural, urban, and suburban school districts are faced with every day due to chronic funding disparities.
“The Level Up funding in this year’s budget is another overdue payment that will help to inch our most inequitably funded school districts along the long road toward adequacy. And while this Level Up allocation is not a systemic fix to the inadequacy and inequity of Pennsylvania’s funding system, it is giving these districts a meaningful payment, a step toward a more level playing field for Pennsylvania’s 1.7 million public school students.
“Every student in Pennsylvania deserves a chance at success, and Level Up gives students who have missed out because of the zip code they are born into a boost they deserve.”
PA Association of School Administrators
“The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators is grateful to the Governor and General Assembly for their commitment to the Commonwealth’s children, teachers, administrators, and public school districts.
“The historic increase in public education funding passed in the 2022-23 state budget is a monumental step forward—one that provides districts with the resources they need to meet the ever-increasing demands of public education. For the first time in recent history, the state will send more funds to schools than they will have to pay out in mandated costs.
“We applaud this effort by Governor Tom Wolf as he made a bold request of the legislature to take a significant step to adequately fund our public schools. In the past, PASA has called on our legislature to increase the basic subsidy as outlined in the Costing Out Study and the PILCOP Study. This budget begins to deliver on that request with over $850 million in subsidy increases. With this budget, Governor Wolf cemented his legacy as a true champion of public education, and we believe it will make a fundamentally positive difference in the lives of thousands of children in the Commonwealth.
“While we know there is still work to be done to fuel the future success of children across the Commonwealth, PASA is grateful for Governor Wolf’s commitment to education—not only this year but throughout his tenure as governor. We look forward to working with the next administration and the legislature to build on the progress made over the last eight years.”
PA Chamber of Business and Industry President & CEO Luke Bernstein
“Act 53 of 2022 improves Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness by providing relief to small businesses, along with immediate and continued reductions to the state’s Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT). By 2031, the end of the scheduled reductions, Pennsylvania’s rate of 4.99% will be the sixth lowest in the nation (based on current state corporate tax rates). Pennsylvania has so much to offer investors and entrepreneurs. These tax reforms instantly make us more globally competitive and allow us to focus on Pennsylvania’s strengths as a hub of global commerce and opportunity – our prime location, world-class educational institutions, innovative workforce and more. On behalf of the state’s business community, I want to thank the Governor and the leaders in the House and Senate for working across the aisle to pave the way for greater opportunity for generations to come, and our deep thanks to the 222 members of the House and Senate who voted yes.”
PA Principals Association
“The Pennsylvania Principals Association applauds the work resulting in bipartisan support of the recently adopted state budget. The emphasis placed on education in this budget is not only historic, but long awaited and much needed. The principals of the Commonwealth, who have been called to serve our state’s youth, appreciate the recognition that well-placed funding, entrusted to local school districts, will certainly ensure that the needs of our students are met.”
PennEnvironment Executive Director David Masur
“Governor Wolf’s effort to ensure increased funding for the Keystone State’s great outdoors and incredible natural heritage will be applauded by Pennsylvanians from the shores of Lake Erie, to the mountains of the Poconos and the riverbanks along the Delaware River. We know that one thing all Pennsylvanians can agree to, be they Democrat, Republican or Independent, is that we all love and enjoy our Commonwealth’s incredible natural heritage. Gov. Wolf’s leadership in the budget ensures we can continue to deliver that legacy for our children and future generations.”
“The impact of the new state budget passed by the General Assembly cannot be overstated in its importance to our environment, open spaces and natural resources, and for the economies that benefit from our state’s clean waters and healthy lands,” said PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo. “This is a spending plan that includes a total of $884.75 million for clean water, land conservation, infrastructure, parks, energy efficiency and forests investments, and is truly generational funding for Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society
”The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society is grateful for the supportive work among many parallel-missioned partners, forward-thinking legislators, and committed community advocates who have helped establish a significant increase in dedicated funding for vital outdoor recreation, conservation and clean water resources throughout the Commonwealth. There is much to fix, remediate, improve and advance, and applying this money to such crucial needs will enrich the lives of all Pennsylvanians.”
Pre-K for PA
“Public investment in high-quality pre-k has become a consensus issue in Pennsylvania; aligning political parties, rural, urban and suburban communities, and families across the commonwealth on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that improves the life chances of Pennsylvania’s children. State leaders including Governor Wolf and Senator Pat Browne deserve recognition for their role in Pennsylvania’s continued expansion of Pre-K for PA. According to a recent poll, 90% of likely Pennsylvania voters said that formal early childhood care and education are important in helping set kids on a path toward leading healthy and productive lives.
“The $79 million expansion will provide high-quality pre-k to over 2,300 additional young learners as well as increase rates for providers to support the early care and education workforce and address rising costs. The Pre-K for PA campaign thanks our more than 20,000 supporters for lending their voices to advance the power of pre-k to more of Pennsylvania’s youngest learners.”
Sierra Club Pennsylvania Legislative and Political Director Jen Quinn
“The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club is thrilled to see bipartisan support for clean water, conservation, and outdoor recreation during this year’s state budget. Thanks to the hard work of lawmakers, the Governor, and countless environmental advocacy organizations, we’re seeing the most significant investment in parks, infrastructure, and land conservation in over a decade. Our communities, our natural resources, and our economy will benefit from these investments for generations.”