Statement on the 2022-2023 State Budget

Below is Pennsylvanians for Fair Funding’s statement on the 2022-2023 State Budget as passed on July 8, 2022:

The Commonwealth has a finalized 2022-2023 budget, and there’s clear progress for public school students and their families and teachers. Specifically, the budget includes a $750 million increase in Basic Education Funding and a $ 1 0 0 million increase in Special Education Funding. Students in all Pennsylvania school districts will get more support from Harrisburg this upcoming year than they did last year, and students in historically under-funded and lower-resourced districts will see the biggest bump, since the increase is being allocated both using the Fair Funding Formula and Level Up. Both components of this increase- the amount of new money going through the formula and the amount of Level Up – are more than double what was included in last year’s budget.

It’s worth noting that there is a lot this budget does not do. It does not fully address adequacy and equity concerns that were raised in the historic education funding trial this past year: Pennsylvania still ranks near the bottom in terms of funding gaps between wealthy and poor districts. Underfunded districts have not been made whole by this budget, and a “thorough and efficient” education is still out of reach for too many students across the Commonwealth.

However, this budget starts us down the right path. It is a budget that explicitly recognizes the need for both more adequate and more equitable funding. This additional funding is critical support for students around the Commonwealth who have been in need of safe and appropriate facilities, increased teacher and staff support, and access to quality programming. We applaud this significant movement toward fully and fairly funding Pennsylvania students and will continue to work until every student has the resources they need to thrive.

Last, we must note the powerful work of so many Pennsylvania education advocates and organizations in pushing the issue of fair funding to the forefront. This spring hundreds of fair funding advocates from across the state mobilized, reaching out to their lawmakers on a weekly basis with a clear and common message about the need for full and fair funding for every student. We are deeply grateful for each person who took the time to raise their voice for our children- whether you were part of our spring advocacy project, or whether you wrote letters to the editor, participated in rallies, met with lawmakers, or advocated in any other way. Progress on fair funding has been years in the making and is being realized in large part due to our collective advocacy.

Pennsylvanians for Fair Funding

To download a PDF of this letter, click here.