PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera today brought the Schools That Teach tour to Allegheny County, as he visited the Baldwin Whitehall School District to talk about the future of education funding in the commonwealth.
Secretary Rivera has visited schools across Pennsylvania over the course of the past year, having open conversations with stakeholders and discussing solutions to challenges.
"I have visited dozens of districts on the Schools That Teach tour and each one has a unique story to tell," Rivera said. "Schools, teachers, and communities across Pennsylvania are working hard to create the conditions that support learning and help students thrive, but their efforts need a robust investment from the state to continue to support student growth.
"The budgets Governor Wolf has proposed the past two years have included historic increases in school funding to support students from Pre-K to postsecondary – those are the investments that will benefit students, communities, and our state's future."
In his 2016-17 budget, Governor Wolf has proposed a $250 million increase in basic education funding. 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.
During the visit, Rivera met with the district's Superintendent Dr. Randal Lutz, other administrators, school board members and students, who outlined the progress the district is making while also discussing the challenges faced by the district in recent years.
"We are honored to host Secretary Rivera and share some of the many ways our teachers, students, staff, administrators and families have innovated through challenging times," said Dr. Randal A. Lutz, Baldwin-Whitehall School District superintendent. "We are grateful for the opportunity to create dialogue surrounding the significant struggles we've faced and work together to add strength and continuous depth to our commitment to providing the best education possible for the students entrusted to us."
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717-783-9802.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education