MARCH 2, 2023 – PHILADELPHIA, PA– Today, State Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) announced a $3.1 billion proposal for funding Pennsylvania’s education system. The bold proposal is a significant step in addressing the inequitable, inadequate, discriminatory, and unfair funding system that has affected Pennsylvania students and school districts for decades.
“Students in red and blue districts alike have felt the impact of poorly funded – and even toxic – schools, and my proposal is a major step toward restoring Pennsylvania students’ constitutional and fundamental right to a quality public education,” said Senator Hughes.
The announcement of the senator’s proposal comes on the heels of the long-awaited, historic Commonwealth Court ruling that declared Pennsylvania’s current school funding system is unconstitutional.
“We have the money to right this wrong and we are morally obligated to deliver for our children: they’ve suffered from a broken funding system for far too long,” said Senator Hughes.
Pennsylvania’s estimated General Fund surplus at the end of FY 22/23 is $7.4 billion. The Rainy Day Fund balance is $5 billion. Senator Hughes’ plan is supported by a mix of General and Rainy Day funds.
Senator Hughes laid out his plan at the School District of Philadelphia building on North Broad Street Jueves afternoon, surrounded by city, state, and community leaders, Democratic Senate and House colleagues, as well as education advocates and some of the attorneys who played a crucial role in the school funding trial.
Highlights of Sen. Hughes’ plan include $750 million for Basic Education Funding, $400 million for Level Up, $250 million for Special Education, and a $1 billion investment in remediating toxic schools.
The full plan can be found here.
To further illustrate the pressing need to invest in our schools, images of some of Pennsylvania’s deteriorating school buildings can be found here.