The Governor's Budget invests $1 billion in early childhood, K-12 and higher education funding, and cost savings and represents the first phase in Governor Wolf's goal of investing $2 billion in preK-12 education over the next four year to meet the state's educational commitments and provide all children with a quality public education.
The budget includes the following:
Basic and Special Education Funding
Included in the Governor’s Budget is a $500 million total increase in the Basic and Special Education Funding formulas.
The Basic Education Funding increase of $400 million will restore Accountability Block Grant, Education Assistance Program and Basic Education Funding cut in previous years and will provide a reimbursement comprising approximately ten percent of the amount school districts are required to make in payments to charter schools.
The Special Education Funding formula continues the transition to the use of categories of support for students with disabilities in the formula recommended by the Special Education Funding Commission. A total of $115.8 million, a $96 million increase, will be distributed through the student-based formula.
2015-16 Proposed Basic and Special Education Funding (Excel)
Property Tax Relief
The Governor’s Budget provides $3.8 billion in property tax relief across Pennsylvania starting in 2016-2017. This represents a total homeowner property tax cut averaging more than 50 percent.
2016-17 Proposed Property Tax Relief (Excel)
Cyber Charter School Tuition Savings
The Governor’s Budget includes a cyber charter school funding reform plan meant to reflect the structural realities that differentiate cyber charter schools from their brick and mortar counterparts. Under this reform plan, the nonspecial education rate would be set at $5,950 and would be annually increased by the Act 1 index. The special education rates would be determined as recommended by the Special Education Funding Commission for Category 1, 2 and 3 students. Based on data from the 2013-2014 school year, Pennsylvania school districts would save an estimated $162 million.
Estimated Cyber Charter School Tuition Savings (Excel)