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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 20, 2016 04:16 PM
From: Representative James R. Santora
To: All House members
Subject: BEF Subsidy to restore 3 Billion Dollars in Basic Education Funding
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that will restore the more than $3 billion in funding for Pennsylvania schools that was cut by Gov. Tom Wolf in his line-item veto of House Bill 1460 (Act 10A of 2015).

Prior to the governor’s action, House Bill 1460 provided a significant funding increase for education for Pennsylvania schools. The legislation was slated to allocate more than $5.6 billion to the state’s Basic Education Subsidy, which represented a $100 million increase over the funds approved in the 2014-15 fiscal year. Those who choose too, can continue to focus on the funding levels that were in the “Framework Budget deal”. Unfortunately that deal unraveled with the removal of property tax reform, liquor privatization and pension reform.

We need to move forward for the sake of Pennsylvania’s children. These funds are not insignificant; in fact, they represent a bold commitment from the Commonwealth to continue supporting our local schools. We should not, and more importantly cannot, allow students to wonder if their schools are going to cut programs; run out of materials; or even close their doors prior to the end of the school year. I personally support the $350 million increase in the original Framework Budget; however, I am not going to stand by and see schools be at risk of receiving a $3 billion cut to basic education versus receiving a $100 million increase. Contrary to arguments made by some, the funds are currently available with existing tax dollars to allocate these education dollars in totality. Pennsylvania schools need and deserve this financial support.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation so our schools can receive the full $5.6 billion they were originally afforded under House Bill 1460. There are still plenty of line items that need to be funded after the Governor’s line-item veto. Join me in not allowing basic education funding to be used as a negotiating tool. This will directly affect our children’s ability to succeed in school.

Introduced as HB1821