Education A State Capitals Roundup

Schools Are Winners Under New Pa. Budget

By Catherine Gewertz — July 11, 2006 1 min read

Precollegiate education will get a big boost under Pennsylvania’s 2006-07 budget.

The $26.1 billion spending plan, signed by Gov. Edward G. Rendell on July 2, benefited from an unexpectedly big state surplus. The fiscal 2007 budget is 5.8 percent bigger than the previous year’s without raising taxes.

More than half that increase goes to education. The basic education subsidy increases by 5.9 percent, to $4.8 billion, including extra funds designed to narrow the spending gap between low-income and wealthier school districts.

The Democratic governor’s “accountability block grants,” which districts may use for a range of programs, including full-day kindergarten, preschool, or smaller classes, will expand from $200 million to $250 million. Aid to Head Start programs will rise from $30 million to $40 million.

A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week