State budget includes additional funding for local schools07/13/2021 12:41PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Southern Chester County school districts will see small increases in the state subsidies that they receive from Pennsylvania for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) released data on funding allocations following the adoption of the state budget. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the spending plan into law on June 30.
State lawmakers touted the fact this budget includes an additional $416 million in funding—the largest state funding increase for public school students in Pennsylvania history.
Additionally, the state has launched the “Level Up” initiative that will provide an additional $100 million to the 100 lowest-wealth school districts in the state. In Chester County, two school districts—the Oxford Area School District and the Coatesville Area School District—are receiving “Level Up” funding.
Oxford is scheduled to receive an additional $316,735 as a result of this initiative. Overall, Oxford is receiving a state subsidy of $13,634,811, an increase of $1,608,104 over the current year.
Avon Grove is seeing a $1,397,843 increase in its state subsidy. The district will receive $15,781,900 for the 2021-2022 school year, up from $14,384,057.
The state subsidy for the Kennett Consolidated School District is $6,362,444, an increase of $1,244,160 over the 2020-2021 total of $5,118,284.
For the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District, the state subsidy is increasing by $510,287, from $3,005,343 to $3,515,630, for the 2021-2022 school year.
“The state budget invests in the places we know resources are needed the most - to help our school communities mitigate learning gaps, break down barriers, build equitable learning environments, and move forward stronger and together,” said Secretary Noe Ortega in a statement. “This budget - combined with federal funding - creates opportunities to invite our entire educational ecosystem to the table to collaboratively and inclusively problem solve, address disparities, and develop solutions that will serve our students, our future.”
The budget increases educational efforts by $416 million in state funding for public education. Budget investments include:
~ $200 million increase in the Fair Funding Formula;
~ $100 million to support underfunded school districts through the newly implemented Level Up initiative;
~ $50 million in special education funding;
~ $30 million for early education;
~ $20 million for Ready to Learn;
~ $11 million for preschool Early Intervention; and
~ $5 million for community colleges
The 2021-2022 fiscal year budget includes $7,066,773,000 for the Basic Education Funding appropriation. This amount is a $272,284,000 (4.0 percent) increase over the 2020-2021 fiscal year appropriation.
The funding includes $100,000,000 to supplement those school districts with higher at-risk populations of students and an increase of $200,000,000 to continue sustained investment in school districts.
In addition, as required by the Pennsylvania Public School Code, the 2021-22 fiscal year enacted appropriation includes $511,694,000 for the School Employees’ Social Security portion of the appropriation, which must be used for School Employees’ Social Security payments to school districts.
For a breakdown of education allocations in the state budget, please visit www.education.pa.gov/budget.