Oberlander Applauds Education Investments in New State Budget
Spending plan calls for no new or increased taxes
HARRISBURG – Local schools will benefit from the new 2018-19 state budget that was approved by the House on Wednesday, according to Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest). Combined, more than $112.5 million will go to school districts within the 63rd District.

“Education is the largest expenditure in the overall state budget and for good reason,” said Oberlander. “Investments in education pay dividends for students, their families and our communities. More than $14 billion is being allocated at all levels of education statewide, and those dollars will help enhance our schools here at home, so that our students are afforded quality opportunities.”

Specifically, local school districts will receive state funding in the following amounts:
• Allegheny-Clarion: $8,186,144.
• Armstrong: $46,781,629.
• Clarion: $4,930,357.
• Clarion-Limestone: $7,763,908.
• Forest Area: $4,284,240.
• Karns City: $14,039,655.
• Keystone: $9,982,426.
• North Clarion: $4,712,132.
• Redbank Valley: $11,862,773.
• Union: $7,912,009.

The record level of education spending also includes notable boosts for basic education ($100 million more), early childhood education ($25 million more) and special education ($15 million more). Additionally, the budget includes a 3 percent increase for Pennsylvania’s state-related universities and community colleges; a 3.3 percent boost for the State System of Higher Education, which includes Clarion University; and $30 million more for career and technical education.

Also this year, the budget creates a new, $60 million initiative to ensure Pennsylvania’s children are in a safe learning environment. The block grant program will allow districts to apply for funding to meet their schools’ specific needs.

The state budget does not call for any new or increased taxes or fees, and is 1.7 percent above the current fiscal year, below the rate of inflation.

Oberlander was also pleased that community safety initiatives were also prioritized in this year’s budget.

“The safety of our communities is also a high priority for those of us in rural Pennsylvania,” she continued. “This budget will allow for the training of up to 300 more troopers – and without the additional fee the governor proposed – along with more funding to fight the opioid crisis, help those with intellectual disabilities and assist our struggling ambulance and EMS companies.”

Oberlander attributed the positive state budget news to ongoing efforts to stand up for taxpayers.

“The economy is recovering, state revenue collections are up, minimal spending increases and sound fiscal policies we’ve enacted over the past few years have allowed us to develop a state budget that funds core functions while respecting the taxpayer. This budget includes a lot of positive news for people across the 63rd District.”

The $32.7 billion spending plan is a 1.7 percent increase over the current fiscal year budget, which is below the rate of inflation. For the first time in a decade, the budget sets aside money for the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

The House-passed budget now heads to the state Senate for approval, where it is expected to pass in the coming days before going to the governor.

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander

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