Governor Wolf Discusses the Impact of Funding Increases in Monroe County during “Schools that Teach” Roundtable and Tour

first_imgGovernor Wolf Discusses the Impact of Funding Increases in Monroe County during “Schools that Teach” Roundtable and Tour SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Press Release,  Schools That Teach,  Severance Tax Pocono Summit, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today continued his “Schools That Teach” tour in Monroe County, where he heard from teachers and administrators in the Pocono Mountain School District about their plans to ensure that education funding from his 2015-16 budget goes directly into the classroom.“Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom in the country in state funding for K through 12 education and my proposed budget makes historic investments at all levels – early childhood education through higher education,” said Governor Wolf. “After years of funding cuts that resulted in the loss of educators, increased class sizes, and cuts to valuable programs, I want to ensure that the new funding in my budget reaches the classroom and directly impacts student achievement. Focusing on education will allow us to lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.”Governor Wolf’s budget proposal restores massive cuts made over the last four years, with a commitment to increase school funding by $2 billion over four years by instituting a commonsense severance tax on oil and natural gas. Governor Wolf’s proposal, called the Pennsylvania Education Reinvestment Act, is expected to generate over a billion dollars by 2017 by enacting a reasonable 5% severance tax plus 4.7 cents per thousand feet of volume on natural gas extraction.In a roundtable discussion at Pocono Mountain West Junior High School, Governor Wolf heard from school leaders and stakeholders about their plans to improve the district’s instructional technology training programs to diversify students’ opportunities to learn 21st century skills.“This is an important opportunity for districts to have comprehensive conversations about how to invest this funding on proven resources and programs that will improve student learning,” Governor Wolf said. “What is being proposed here in the Pocono Mountain School District is a prime example of a plan that will ensure this historic education investment reaches the classroom while providing clear benchmarks to measure the results of student achievement.”“If additional state funding is made available, the district plans to add four instructional technology coaches, two to work with students in grades K through 5 and two to work with students in grades 7 through 12, to provide direct instruction to students on the use of technology,” said Pocono Mountain School District Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Robison. “Our district believes that with additional resources and opportunities, we can work toward preparing our diverse population of learners for the 21st Century. It is also important for our district to increase the amount of students who are proficient in reading by third grade. Closing the achievement gap is a continued goal for us each year. This funding opportunity will directly assist with helping to achieve this goal.”In March, Department of Education Acting Secretary Pedro Rivera sent a letter to superintendents in all 500 districts detailing accountability measures to ensure the education funding proposed in Governor Wolf’s 2015-2016 budget is spent directly on students in the classroom to allow them to compete in a modern economy. In the letter, Acting Secretary Rivera called on districts to submit plans to ensure this new investment reaches the classroom and to measure results for Pennsylvania’s students.MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Sheridan – 717.783.1116# # #center_img May 27, 2015last_img read more

BLOG: The Path to a Bright Future for PA Kids

first_img Budget News,  Education,  First Lady Frances Wolf,  Schools That Teach,  The Blog,  Videos As my husband outlined in his address to the General Assembly this past week, we have a choice to make – a choice that has serious implications for the future of Pennsylvania’s schools. And for the future of our state.Watch First Lady Frances Wolf’s message on the future of our schools:We can choose to ignore the $2 billion structural deficit that Pennsylvania currently faces which will force an additional $1 billion in cuts to our schools.If we choose this path, we will bar tens of thousands of preschoolers from early childhood programs. We will force school districts to lay off thousands of dedicated public school educators. We will create significantly larger class sizes depriving our children of the attention and resources they need to succeed. We will reduce their possibilities for success not only in the classroom but in life.And we will force school districts to exact even higher property taxes – taxes that were already increased in 2011. To a greater degree than ever before we will force many homeowners to choose between paying their property taxes or keeping their homes.Or, we can choose to support the program my husband set out in his new budget proposal. His plan will restore investments to our schools and ensure that the state live up to its constitutionally mandated responsibility to fund our schools. His plan promotes brighter prospects for our children by investing in early childhood and higher education. His plan will reduce the property tax burden that homeowners currently face.If we choose this latter path, we will build a strong foundation for our educational system and our children. We will give our schools the important resources they need to teach. And we will give our children the quality public school education they deserve.As parents of two children who were educated in Pennsylvania public schools, Tom and I take education very seriously. We recognize that parents, like us, want the best outcomes for their children, and expect us to ensure a quality education for them. Not only are the futures of our children at stake but so is the future of our commonwealth.The quality of the education system we invest in and provide to our children is intricately intertwined with the jobs we can offer them in the future. Do we want a system that ill prepares them academically, rendering them less competitive in the job market? Or do we invest in a system that fuels their full competitive advantage?We are at a critical crossroads. The choice we make will have serious consequences for all of us. If we are to have strong prospects, we need to choose investing in our schools rather than depleting them. We need to relieve homeowners of the ever rising burden of funding education. In the end we need to do everything we can to do right by our children. They deserve it. Quite simply, we owe it to them. You can find updates and behind-the-scenes content on the 2016-2017 budget announcement on our Facebook and Twitter.Read more posts about Governor Wolf’s 2016-17 budget.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf February 12, 2016 By: First Lady Frances Wolfcenter_img BLOG: The Path to a Bright Future for PA Kids SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more