According to Republicans in the Pennsylvania Legislature, it’s not the time for an increase to education funding on the back of a tax increase.
According to Gov. Tom Wolf, “we all will benefit from a school system that is fairly and adequately funded.”
Wolf proposed a $1.3 billion increase to the education subsidy — an increase of 21 percent — for 2021-2022. In a briefing last week, Wolf said the state is “not spending enough” on education. “This gets us pretty close.”
His budget, including that education increase and an increase to the personal income tax rates of some Pennsylvanians, has been declared ‘dead on arrival’ by Republicans in the General Assembly.
While legislators and the governor may disagree on taxation and increased spending, there is more money flowing into schools this year.
Several pools of money have been created to help districts move through two school years involving a pandemic.
According to information provided by the office of Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-65), Warren County School District is looking at possibly $8 million in total CARES Act and CRRSA Act dollars. Both of those sources are intended as coronavirus relief.
Warren County School District continues to have and monitor expenditures that are related to the pandemic.
“We are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in PPE and additional educational materials (labor, laptops, hot spots, workbooks, etc) to maintain the ability to educate kids,” WCSD Director of Business Services Jim Grosch said.
He said the district has “opened a grant” for all of the funding pools listed in the document provided by Rapp.
Some of those funding streams have to be shared with non-public schools, he said.
Whether the governor’s education proposal is approved or not, the district hopes the state won’t decrease basic education funding because of the additional federal dollars available. That has happened in the past.
“This year, we are hoping that Basic Education Funding is not impacted,” Grosch said.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox