Schweyer: Budget delivers on education funding, misses opportunities in economic recovery, jobs, health care

HARRISBURG, June 25 – Following today’s House passage of the Pennsylvania state budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, state Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, issued the following statement:

"At the start of the pandemic, 3,000 households in the Allentown School District didn't have access to the internet. That means that thousands of our students could not access the online programs they needed to continue to learn through virtual means. A full year later, our school buildings were still closed to our students as our district did not have the resources to retrofit our buildings to make them safer. 

“This is a direct result of a broken education funding system that rewards shrinking and wealthy school districts over those that need the resources the most. 

“This evening, I voted YES on a far-from-perfect budget. This budget will not fix our aging schools or send every education dollar through the fair funding formula as it should. But with more than $17 million more for the Allentown School District -- money that will be there every year -- our students are in a better place. 

“This budget fails to address food and housing insecurity, does not do enough to invest in jobs or health care. But since those dollars remain unspent, we have the opportunity to return to Harrisburg and invest those resources into our residents, and I stand ready to do so. 

“I'm reminded of a quote from President Barack Obama ‘Better is good.’ This budget is not perfect nor is it great, but it is better."