On February 6, 2024, Governor Josh Shapiro presented his 2024-25 budget proposal to the General Assembly and to the people of Pennsylvania. The budget prioritizes economic opportunity and access to higher education and makes historic investments in public education. The Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal takes advantage of the Commonwealth’s significant surplus and does not raise taxes, In fact, even if every initiative is funded the Commonwealth will still have an $11 billion surplus by the end of FY2024-25.
Creating Opportunity by Building on Historic Education Investments & Making Progress to Support Every Pennsylvania Child
In the 2023-24 budget, Governor Shapiro delivered the largest increase in K-12 basic education funding in Pennsylvania history and secured universal free breakfast for 1.7 million students. The budget builds on that historic progress by acting on the work of the Basic Education Funding Commission and delivering a comprehensive solution on K-12 education in Pennsylvania. Governor Shapiro knows ensuring all Pennsylvania children have the opportunity to succeed is critical to our Commonwealth’s future – and that is why he is proposing investments to fully fund public schools, support our teachers, and provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible childcare and early learning opportunities for families.
Continued Historic Investments in Basic Education Funding
Building on the progress made in the 2023-24 budget, the 2024-25 budget proposal includes a historic nearly $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding – the largest increase in Pennsylvania history, recognizing the work of the BEFC and the need to direct these investments to the schools that need them the most. Of this significant increase, nearly $900 million is proposed as a first-year adequacy investment as recommended by the BEFC. The remaining $200 million will be distributed through the Basic Education Funding Formula.
Funding Special Education and Protecting Vulnerable Students
Additionally, this budget includes supports for Pennsylvania students in their classrooms, including a $50 million increase for special education funding to ensure school districts have the basic resources necessary to provide special education services to students with disabilities and special needs.
Ensuring Safe and Healthy School Facilities
Pennsylvania students cannot receive an adequate education if their classrooms aren’t safe and healthy to learn in and for teachers to work in. The 2024-25 budget calls for continuing a $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements and $300 million in sustainable funding for environmental repair projects in school buildings. These investments will help schools address the environmental issues that threaten the health, safety, and opportunity of students.
Recruiting and Retaining the Talent Our Schools and Students Need
Schools across the Commonwealth are facing critical staff shortages – particularly those serving low-income students and students of color – and helping to fill staffing gaps for critical teacher and education positions is an essential part of ensuring every student has the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed.
The 2024-25 budget invests $10 million for the Educator Talent Recruitment Account and $450,000 to support the Talent Recruitment Office at the Pennsylvania Department of Education to provide sustainable funding for colleges to increase participation in the education workforce by covering tuition, fees, supplies or other costs that serve as barriers to secondary school students enrolling in college coursework prior to high school graduation.
To further strengthen the educator pipeline and put more teachers in Pennsylvania classrooms, the Governor’s budget increases funding for student teacher stipends by $5 million to a total of $15 million to support Pennsylvanians training to become certified and committed educators in the Commonwealth.
Protecting Vulnerable Populations: Supporting the Intellectual Disability and Autism Community
Governor Shapiro has heard from those with intellectual disabilities or autism – and those who care for them. He knows that we need to do something different to support home and community-based services and address the shortage of direct support professionals in our Commonwealth, because what we’re doing now isn’t working.
The Governor’s budget supports the intellectual disability and autism community by making a major investment:
-$215 million – and draws down another $266 million in federal funds – to provide more resources for home and community-based service providers, so they in turn can pay competitive rates to attract and retain the staff who provide these essential services.
-$36 million to help get more Pennsylvanians the home and community-based services they need.
Increasing Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products
Governor Shapiro recognizes that access to affordable menstrual hygiene products is an important factor in students’ health, and no student should have to miss school due to not being able to afford basic necessities like menstrual products.
To ensure Pennsylvania students are given the necessary tools to succeed in the classroom, this budget proposes $3 million to provide menstrual hygiene products at no cost to students in schools.
Supporting the Mental Health of Every Pennsylvanian
In the 2023-24 budget, Governor Shapiro secured $100 million for student mental health services and $20 million for county mental health support. The 2024-25 budget matches those investments and takes a step further by investing:
-$100 million in mental health funding for K-12 schools, building upon one-time federal funds and will ensure schools have the continued resources to provide mental health services to students and staff.
-Increasing funding for community-based mental health services by an additional $20 million this year and calling for additional funds in successive years, reaching an overall increase of $60 million per year increase by 2025-26.
-$10 million for 988 crisis line operations to enhance Pennsylvania’s crisis intervention services, expand mental health resources, and ensure competent and resilient staffers are available to support those in need.
Learn more about Governor Shapiro’s budget here: shapirobudget.pa.gov.
Watch the Governor’s full budget address to a joint session of the House and Senate here. See for the Governor’s full remarks as prepared for delivery.
Click to read the full budget in brief here.