Governor Shapiro Gets Stuff Done: Providing Universal Free Breakfast and Securing the Largest Increase in Public Education Funding Ever

The 2023-24 budget makes historic investments in K-12 public schools, including a $567 million increase in basic education funding and a $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast for K-12 students.


Watch Pennsylvania students talk about free breakfast here.

Harrisburg, PA – In his first budget addressGovernor Shapiro said “the foundation of [safe and strong communities] is an adequate and equitable public education” and called for “universal free breakfast in our schools because students can’t learn on empty stomachs.” The final 2023-2024 budget delivered on both of these promises – creating universal free breakfast for K-12 school students and investing the largest increase in basic education funding in K-12 public schools in Pennsylvania history.

Governor Shapiro knows Pennsylvania children cannot and should not be expected to learn on an empty stomach and without the basic resources needed to succeed – and in his first year in office, his Administration delivered for Pennsylvania students and schools.

Read more about the Shapiro Administration’s historic investments in public education during Governor Shapiro’s first year in office below. 

Providing Universal Free Breakfast to 1.7 Million Pennsylvania Students

  • Students cannot expect to learn and succeed on an empty stomach – which is why Governor Shapiro proposed providing free breakfast to every child in his first budget address. The 2023-24 budget delivers on this proposal by providing a $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast to 1.7 million students.
  • Due to this increase, every student – regardless of income – is now eligible to receive free breakfast. The funding also provides free lunch to all 22,000 Pennsylvania students who are eligible for reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program.

Delivering the Largest Increase in Basic Education Funding Ever & Historic Investments in Our Schools

The 2023-24 budget makes historic investments in K-12 public schools, including the largest increase in basic education funding (BEF) in Pennsylvania history.

Thanks to the investments in this budget, Pennsylvania will spend over $10 billion on K-12 public education funding, including:

  • $567 million increase in basic education funding for Pennsylvania school districts to be distributed through the BEF Formula, enabling all school districts to have the basic resources they need to provide a high-quality education for Pennsylvania students.
  • $50 million increase in special education funding, reinforcing Pennsylvania’s commitment to equitable education for all students.
  • $23.5 million investment in workforce training and vo-tech programs to help expand our workforce and empower students to chart their own course.

Governor Shapiro will continue working to fully fund our public schools, bring career and technical education back into our classrooms, expand higher education opportunities for students, support our teachers, and empower parents. 

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