Throughout the spring , PSBA , its members and others actively advocated for increased funding and support for public education . Our efforts resulted in a state budget that includes a significant increase in funding for education . On June 25 , the General Assembly adopted the 2021-22 state budget and other budget-related bills that were then signed into law by Gov . Tom Wolf on June 30 . The $ 40.8 billion budget is a spending increase of $ 1 billion , or 2.6 % from last year ’ s budget when supplemental spending and federal stimulus spending is included .
Some of the key appropriations for education include :
• $ 300 million increase in the Basic Education Subsidy : $ 200 million will be distributed to school districts through the Basic Education Funding formula and $ 100 million will be distributed for a new “ Level-Up ” initiative , which assists 100 school districts identified as being the most inneed of additional state funding .
• $ 50 million increase for special education .
• $ 20 million increase for the Ready to Learn Block Grant .
• $ 99 million in level funding for career and technical education .
What are you most proud of your district accomplishing over this past year of adapting through the pandemic ?
I ’ m proud that our district addressed not only the educational needs of our students , but their social-emotional needs as well . North Hills found creative ways within the ever-changing guidelines to offer traditional student experiences like musical performances . We also refocused our efforts on mental health and formed student focus groups to listen to students ’ needs and concerns regarding well-being and then take action on meeting those needs .
Allison Mathis board president , North Hills School District ( Allegheny County )
I am most proud of the safe , open , respectful and rational approach Lackawanna Trail School District took in offering in-school and online instruction simultaneously during the academic year . Our district polled families , teachers and staff on their concerns , wishes and suggestions . Our district , especially our students , did better than endure ; they overcame and thrived despite the challenges !
Brian J . Petula , Esq . school director , Lackawanna Trail School District ( Wyoming County )
Next question :
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing this school year ? To submit answers to the “ Question of the issue ,” send an email to Jackie Inouye at jackie . inouye @ psba . org by October 1 , 2021 . Submissions should be kept to 50 words or less .
On the 2020-21 Northwest Evaluation Association ( NWEA )’ s MAP Growth assessment :
Students who took the reading assessments scored about
3-6 percentile points behind other kids in the same grades in 2018-19 .
Read the full report at https :// www . nwea . org / content / uploads / 2021 / 07 / Learning-during-COVID-19-Readingand-math-achievement-in-the-2020-2021-school-year . research-brief . pdf
Math scores were down
8-12 percentile points in 2021-20 from end-of-year scores in 2018-19 .