Gov. Wolf’s Proposed Budget Focuses On Education

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Governor Wolf’s proposed budget includes new investments from pre-k through higher education..These new investments include $75 m for pre-k/Head Start. $100 m for Basic Education, $25m for special ed, and a 2% increase for the state system of higher education, according to Beaver County Radio News Correspondent Sandy Giordano.  In addition, the budget includes a new plan of accountability to target 15 under performing schools in 3 districts.  The plan invests $2 m in state funding to leverage $1 in federal funding.  These funds will be used to conduct diagnostic audits to determine specific district and school needs, to develop improvements plans, and to prepare for implementing these plans in the following school year.. The districts will have 3 years to demonstrate improved performance.  For those that fail to  improve performance the Dept. of Education will assess the next steps, which could include placing the school under state control or closing the school. A school breakfast initiative will have a $2m state investment, it will be drawn down up to $20m to expand in schools where at least 60% of the students are eligible for free and reduced price lunches. The investment, under the proposal includes funding to offer competitive grants to help  schools address current barriers to participate.