Historic Education Package Includes Funding for Mental Health, School Safety
In all, Gov. Wolf and allies in the General Assembly have raised education commitment by 40 percent since 2013
In our most recent On the Issues I talked about the historic new funding for basic education and the Level-Up program which aims to boost the state’s 100 most disadvantaged school districts to reverse generations of neglect.
Beyond those tremendous new investments, the budget has good news for students outside the K to 12 age range, as well as K-12 schools with needs beyond basic education funding.
Also added in this year’s budget was $100 million in Ready to Learn Block Grants aimed at provided enhanced mental health services in schools. It has become increasingly apparent the among the broad range of causes for the upsurge in violence in our neighborhoods is the shortage of adequate mental health resources for students.
In addition $100 million was added for school safety infrastructure to make sure our students are learning in a safe, nurturing environment.
A $60 million boost for Pre-K Counts and $19 million for Head Start will go a long way to making sure students are ready for school before they enter kindergarten. Students who are learning – and learning how to learn – before kindergarten are more likely to stay ahead of their peers well into the academic future.
Pennsylvania still has a long way to go in making sure every student in every district has equal access to opportunity through education. But our advocates and allies working with the Wolf Administration over the past seven years have made tremendous strides.