Education updates

As we await the final budget, here is the PA Senate’s 2013-14 K-12 budget plan as of June 30:

  • $22.5 million in funding added to the basic education subsidy line. This amount is higher than the House proposal and $32.5 million over what Governor Corbett proposed in February.
  • Funding for Accountability Block Grants , which provide support for pre-kindergarten and full- day kindergarten programs, class size reduction, and tutoring, would remain flat at $100 million, well below the 2010-11 levels of $254.5 million.
  • Special education would remain flat at $1.027 billion, although a commission to review the special education formula has been established and is charged with issuing a report by

November 30.

  • Funding for Pre-K Counts is increased 6% from last year to $87.3 million
  • Head Start Supplemental increased by 5.4% increase to $39.2 million, consistent with

Governor’s proposal

  • Career and technical education is flat funded at $62 million,
    • Family and adult literacy gets a slight boost to just over $12 million. The Senate plan retains $3 million added by the House for an equipment fund for technical high schools. For the first time in years, adult literacy programs get a small funding increase of $500,000.
    • Senate budget spends $63 million less on public school employee pension benefits and $49.5

million less on school employees’ Social Security than the Governor proposed. .

Latest on Philadelphia School District

The state-run SRC (School Reform Commission), has asked the city for $60 million, the state for $120 million, and unions for about $130 million in concessions. The additional funds would allow some programs and jobs to be restored. Philadelphia City Council pledged to deliver $74 million to the schools through a new tobacco levy and increased delinquent tax collections. However, the cigarette tax requires  legislation from the state.

Common Core Update

In May, Governor Corbett decided to postpone seeking final legislative and regulatory approval for new education standards.  However, most districts continue to plan for fall implementation and this postponement does not rule out the possibility of implementation in time for the 2013-14 school year. The Senate held a public hearing on Common Core in May and the House will hold a hearing in July.

Welcome Secretary of Education Harner

Governor Corbett named a new Secretary of Education, Superintendent of Cumberland Valley William Harner. Secretary Harner is a West Point graduate, originally from Montgomery County. Previous work experience includes: Philadelphia School District and  Deputy Superintendent for the Recovery School District of New Orleans. Former Secretary Ron Tomalis was named to Special Advisor on Higher Education.

Toni Keg, Education Chair

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