LEBANON, Pa., July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a "Schools That Teach" tour stop at Lebanon High School, Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera met with officials from Lebanon School District to discuss its achievements, priorities, and the newly-enacted 2016-17 budget.
"I am pleased to celebrate Lebanon's successes, as well as offer my assistance with challenges," Secretary Rivera said. "While the increased funding provided to schools in this year's budget certainly helps alleviate the ills districts have faced in the past, our work is not done. We must continue to advocate for adequacy and equity in Pennsylvania's schools."
During the visit, Rivera heard from the district's acting Superintendent Dr. Marianne Bartley, teachers, and administrators, who discussed some of the district's accomplishments over the past year.
"We appreciated Secretary Rivera's visit to Lebanon School District. It is good to have a Secretary of Education who appreciates our accomplishments and understands our challenges," said Dr. Bartley. "By working together to support our schools and communities, we can put all Pennsylvania students on equal footing, and on the path to future success."
Earlier this month, the bipartisan 2016-17 budget granted an increase of $200 million in funding to basic education and a $20 million increase for special education. This increase will be distributed through Pennsylvania's new Basic Education Funding (BEF) Formula, known as Act 35, which Governor Wolf signed into law on June 1. The new formula accounts for district-based factors including the wealth of the district, the district's current tax effort, and the ability of the district to raise revenue. It also includes student-based factors like the number of children in the district who live in poverty, are enrolled in charter schools, or are English language learners.
The formula, created and unanimously adopted by the bipartisan Basic Education Funding Commission in June 2015, will assure school districts that new funding will be distributed equitably and investments in education will benefit all Pennsylvania's students, no matter where they live.
The budget also provides a $30 million increase for early childhood education, preserving the number of slots for proven early childhood education programs like Pre-K Counts and Head Start; a more than $10 million increase for early intervention; and a nearly $40 million increase for higher education.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education