Seneca Valley officials are giving their thoughts on Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed $28.4 billion budget for 2013-14, which includes plans to privatize liquor sales and make sweeping changes to the pension system for state and school district employees.
The budget also commits a $90 million increase to basic education funding, Corbett said while unveiling the spending plan Tuesday.
“This is the first increase in two years and brings the total basic education funding to the highest in Pennsylvania history,” he said. “Additionally, the commonwealth will implement the new four-year Passport for Learning Block Grant for school districts with $1 billion in revenues realized from the privatization of Pennsylvania’s state stores system for enhancements to school safety, school readiness, and science and math programs.”
Other education-related initiatives included in Corbett’s proposed budget are:
- Adding $6.4 million dollars toward Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance programs. This money gives an additional 3,200 children, and their families, access to quality full and part-day programs as well as summer kindergarten readiness programs.
- Expanding funding for K-through-12 education by adding nearly $100 million dollars to be distributed to school districts "over and above last year's record funding levels," Corbett said.
- Maintains $1.58 billion full-funding levels for state and state-related universities.
- "Passport for Learning" Block Grant provides $1 billion dollar program to enrich public schools over the next four years with: "Ready by 3" that enhances elementary reading and mathematics through third grade, customized learning plans, funding to invest in programs and equipment that support science and math in grades six through 12, and providing schools money to invest in the necessary safety and security measures.
Seneca Valley spokeswoman Linda Andreassi said officials were pleased Corbett is focused on early education, early literacy, STEM initiatives and school safety, but “Our first blush of the budget would indicate that there is no new revenue to cover these initiatives.
The funding he speaks of won’t apply to public schools until 2014-15, and this is contingent on the privatization of wine and spirits.”
Andreassi said officials would continue analyzing the governor’s budget data over the next few days.
“Any impact his budget will have on Seneca Valley should be made more clear to us in the next few days and will be shared with the board and public as we make our way through the beginning stages of the budget process,” she said.
For more details on Corbett’s proposed budget plan, click here.
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