Briggs supports budget that invests in education

HARRISBURG, Feb. 8 – Following the budget address by Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced that he supports several of the funding measures – particularly regarding education.

The governor’s recommendations included:

  • $1.25 billion investment in basic education funding.
  • $300 million investment in Level Up funding, which supports the 100 most underfunded schools in Pennsylvania.
  • $200 million investment in special education funding.
  • $75 million funding increase for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. 
  • $200 million investment for the Nellie Bly Tuition Program, which has expanded to include community college students as well as PASSHE, focuses on in-demand careers in need because of the pandemic, and will use state and federal money.
  • $150 million investment from American Rescue Plan Act to provide PASSHE with $200 million in one-time funds during the next three years.

“Groundbreaking Level Up funding actively addresses the greatest needs in our public school system,” Briggs said. “Perhaps, most importantly, the investments detailed by the governor would help our schools without the need to raise taxes or ask local school districts to cover shortfalls. The governor is also calling for the first update to our state’s charter school system since it was established 24 years ago – reforms which could result in $373 million in taxpayer savings.

“The governor highlighted the need for the state to properly fund the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which has been – and remains – a reliable pathway to higher education and a better way of life for the children of working-class and middle-class parents,” said Briggs, who is a graduate of West Chester University and serves on the PASSHE Board of Governors. “The state cuts in PASSHE funding a decade ago, and the lack of investment over the years, has caused PASSHE to be less competitive and more expensive for our students. By investing these dollars, we can address the student debt issue while strengthening the state-owned system.”