YORK, Pa., June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera continued his "Schools That Teach" tour today in York County, where he joined Rep. Kevin Schreiber (D-York), HACC President John J. Sygielski and Pennsylvania Association of Community Colleges President Elizabeth Bolden at a press conference at HACC's York campus to discuss the importance of higher education funding.
"Higher education provides students in Pennsylvania with the opportunities they need to succeed in the future, and our community colleges are no exception," Rivera said. "By opening doors to both traditional and non-traditional students alike, these schools provide an important service to the residents of the commonwealth. Allocating funding for institutions of higher learning is necessary, needed, and should be viewed as an investment and not a cost."
Schreiber added, "If we want our community colleges to adequately train students for the careers of tomorrow, we must provide them with adequate funding. We must also ensure that community colleges remain an affordable higher education option for Pennsylvania residents."
Nearly 740,000 undergraduate students are currently pursuing degrees in Pennsylvania, and 400,000 of those students attend one of the state's 14 community colleges. The per-pupil spending level in 2013 was lower – for community college students – than it was in 2001.
Gov. Tom Wolf's budget proposal invests $15 million, generated through a commonsense severance tax on gas drilling, into the commonwealth's community colleges. That funding will restore 75 percent of cuts made to community colleges since 2011. Overall, Wolf's budget plan restores higher education cuts by providing $140.9 million more in funding to community colleges, PASSHE universities, and state-related universities.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717-783-9802
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education