Education Funding

Pa. Sheltered Funding Amid Fiscal Distress

By Catherine Gewertz — January 11, 2011 1 min read

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2010 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.

| PENNSYLVANIA | Even in a year of unprecedented fiscal distress, the Keystone State managed to avoid deep cuts in precollegiate education funding. But persistent fiscal woes and new Republican leadership in the state legislature and governor’s office left unanswered questions about spending for fiscal 2011.

Senate:
20 Democrats
30 Republicans
House:
92 Democrats
111 Republicans
Enrollment:
1.8 million

The state’s $28 billion budget for fiscal 2011 includes $9.9 billion for precollegiate education, a 2 percent increase from the previous year’s budget. The biggest piece of the pre-K-12 budget, the basic education subsidy, saw a 4.5 percent increase over fiscal 2010, facilitated by more than $2.7 billion in federal stimulus money.

As 2010 drew to a close, the legislature approved changes in the state’s public-pension system designed to preserve its future solvency. It approved a reduction in the state’s contributions, and delayed the times at which newly hired public employees can become vested in the system, and qualify for benefits.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 12, 2011 edition of Education Week as Pa. Sheltered Funding Amid Fiscal Distress

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