Historic Investments in Pennsylvania Schools: 2023-24 Budget Makes Largest Increase in Basic Education Funding Ever

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

In his budget address in March, Governor Shapiro issued a call to action to put our kids’ education front and center in budget negotiations. As he said then: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to do right by our kids, to fund our schools, and to empower parents to put their kids in the best position for them to succeed.”

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

  • $567 million increase in BEF 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. 
  • A $50 million increase in special education funding, reinforcing Pennsylvania’s commitment to equitable education for all students. 
  • $46.5 million increase to provide universal free breakfast to 1.7 million Pennsylvania public school students. 

Read what Pennsylvania students and teachers are saying about the largest ever increase in basic education funding for Pennsylvania schools:

Scranton School District Elementary School Teacher Laura Sosik: “An historic and necessary increase in education funding is a step in the right direction toward protecting the constitutional rights of the students in my district and giving them access to the resources they need to be successful. This down payment toward an equitable school funding system will be put to good use in an effort to meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners.”

Penn Hills School District Assistant Superintendent Dawn Golden: “The Penn Hills School District is elated at the signing of Governor Shapiro’s bipartisan budget for the 2023-2024. As a result of the increase in Basic Education Funding, the school district will see an increase of 8% from last year. It has nearly doubled and represents approximately $1.2 million more than we received last year. For the Penn Hills School District, a district in financial recovery status, this enables the board to support the academic programming as well as the mental health supports our students need and ensure we are providing students with an equitable education. Also, the additional funding will have an impact on our five-year projections, which are critical to sustaining the progress we have made both financially and academically. Without the increase, the Penn Hills School District will be hard pressed to sustain programming and/or stabilize the underlying financial structure necessary to exit recovery status. Also, the increase in funding for universal free breakfast programming for all public-school students will remove the hunger barrier and allow students to focus on the academic growth.”

Reading School District Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Murray: “I want to also express my sincere gratitude to Governor Shapiro and his team, which includes our own Dr. Mumin – now Secretary of Education Mumin – for their presence and continued support of our Reading School District. Today we celebrate the accomplishment and applaud Governor Shapiro and his team who, with other elected officials, have passed a budget that has the largest increase for education in Pennsylvania history. This funding is far reaching and includes free universal breakfast for children. This universal breakfast program is significant and will guarantee all students – approximately 70,000 across Berks County alone – and the countless others across the Commonwealth have access to a healthy, nutritious breakfast.”

Pennsylvania School Boards Association Senior Director of Education Policy Andrew Christ: “We’re very appreciative of the increases that the Governor and General Assembly have given public education.”

Read what Pennsylvania leaders are saying:

Senator Jay Costa: There is no investment more important to the future of Pennsylvania than our children and their education. I was proud to join Governor Shapiro, Lt. Gov. Davis, Senator Williams, Secretary Mumin and more to celebrate the historic education funding in the 2023-24 budget. Let’s go.

Representative Jose Giral: ” 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 public school students.”

Representative Joe Ciresi: “The education funding we fought for has already been creating opportunities and lowering taxes in our communities. With the signing of the #pabudget, we’ll be getting another $6 million for @pottstownschool, @SpringFordASD, and @pgsdfalcons to help our kids & taxpayers.”

See what Pennsylvanians are reading and hearing about the largest ever increase in basic education funding for Pennsylvania schools:

WFMZ: State budget includes 8.5% increase in education funding in Schuylkill County

WITF: What an increase in basic education funding means for the Reading School District

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Here’s how much funding Western Pa. schools will receive from the Pennsylvania budget

The Corry Journal: State budget tries to bridge gap in education funding

Reading Eagle: Shapiro visits Reading to talk about free breakfasts for students and increased education funding


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