Pre-k Students Thank Governor Wolf for $75 Million Increase for
Early Childhood Education in 2017-18 Budget
Harrisburg, PA (February 14, 2017) – Today, Governor Wolf was joined by members of the Pre-K for PA Campaign to discuss his early childhood education investments and was presented with Valentine’s Day cards from pre-kindergarten students as a sign of gratitude for his dedication to education. Over the past two years, Governor Wolf has made a new way for Pennsylvania. Instead of allowing schools to become the first casualty of our budget deficit, Governor Wolf has made them our first priority. In just three years, Governor Wolf will have increased funding by nearly two-thirds of those short-sighted cuts to our public school system.
“These children, and thousands of young people like them across the state, are counting on us in Harrisburg to have their backs – and to ensure that high-quality pre-kindergarten programs are available to them, in their communities,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Last week, I proposed a budget that invests an additional $75 million in high-quality early childhood education programs which will allow for more than 8,400 additional children to enroll in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts and the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program. When children are given this right – and have the support they need – all our lives are enriched.”
The Principal Partners of the Pre-K for PA organization lauded Governor Wolf for his commitment to expanding access to high-quality pre-k to more Pennsylvania three- and four-year-olds: “The Pre-K for PA Campaign is grateful that Governor Wolf is standing up for kids in his 2017-18 budget proposal. Serving more kids with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will reap strong cost savings in the future in the form of less public spending on special education, social welfare programs, and crime.”
Studies show that children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates and earn more throughout their working lives compared to peers that do not have access to early learning programs. Additionally, children who were previously enrolled in Pre-K Counts outperform their economically disadvantaged peers in third-grade math and reading.
Fair and increased education funding for all Pennsylvania schools continues to be one of Governor Wolf’s top priorities to ensure students are college and career ready.
The future of Pennsylvania depends on making investments in what matters most. In this year’s budget, Governor Wolf is proposing an additional $209 million increase in education funding. Our commonwealth is facing a serious budget deficit, but by reducing government bureaucracy and finding cost-savings, we can continue to invest in our children’s futures so we can make Pennsylvania stronger.
Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign supported by individuals and organizations across Pennsylvania who believe that investing in our children is the right choice and an urgent necessity. Its vision is that every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania will have access to high-quality pre-k. For more information visit www.prekforpa.org.
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