The Board of Education Expresses Support for Pennsylvania’s State Budget
The School District of Philadelphia Board of Education supports the Budget Bill, approved by the Pennsylvania House and Senate and signed by Governor Wolf, that will include a $525 million increase in basic education funding, the largest increase in Pennsylvania’s main subsidy for public schools. Not only will this benefit all public school districts in the Commonwealth, but it will also benefit the School District of Philadelphia which is set to receive approximately $200 million more than last year. This includes increases in basic education, special education and the Level Up funding for the state’s poorest districts.
“We are grateful to Governor Wolf, a true champion of education, for his continued support and advocacy for our children,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson. “We also thank House Leader McClinton, Representative Dawkins, Senator Hughes, Senator Tartaglione and all Philadelphia’s state senators and state representatives who fight every day to ensure the city’s children can access the resources they need to thrive in school.”
In addition to historic funding increases, the budget also includes important policy changes that will help the School District ensure high quality educators are in every classroom. House Bill 1642 updates the State’s Educator Reciprocity Law – a change the School District and Board of Education have advocated for during the last year. The new law will streamline the hiring process, ensuring educators who have been certified in other states do not have to jump through unnecessary hoops to teach in Pennsylvania. This will enable the School District to attract high quality educators from not just our neighboring states, but also from those across the country.
In addition, House Bill 1642 creates a new educator recruitment program, which was first proposed by Senator Hughes. This new law will create a pathway program for our students who are interested in teaching as a profession. This important initiative will enable high school students to earn college credit in educator preparation courses, and it will help ensure that Pennsylvania has the educators needed going forward.
“I am pleased to see the policy changes related to educator recruitment included in the 2022-2023 state budget,” said Board Member Mallory Fix-Lopez. “Over the last year, I have met with a number of lawmakers, the Secretary of Education, and members of the Governor’s senior leadership to push for new laws that help us address the barriers to teaching in Pennsylvania. The new reciprocity laws and the educator recruitment program will provide immediate relief to our staffing challenges while helping us build a pipeline of educators for the future. I am grateful to our state leaders for responding to our needs.”