LANCASTER, Pa., Sept. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera continued his "Schools That Teach" tour today in Lancaster County, meeting with administrators in the Columbia Borough School District to discuss how Governor Tom Wolf's proposed $400 million investment in education will benefit the students and teachers in the district.
"As I've traveled the state and met with teachers and administrators, I've learned that while each school district has its own unique priorities and needs, they are all shouldering the same burden of educating the commonwealth's students with ever-dwindling resources," Rivera said. "Governor Wolf's proposed investment in education will put our schools back on the right track and enable them to do their important work without worrying about securing enough funding for resources to keep their doors open and programs running."
During the roundtable discussion, Secretary Rivera heard from administrators about how the district plans to invest in summer learning programs, professional development, alternative programs and college- and career-readiness through the additional $360,000 in basic and special education funding proposed for the Columbia Borough School District in Governor Wolf's 2015-2016 budget. Under the proposal, the funding would come from a commonsense tax on natural gas drilling in the commonwealth.
"Restoring the funding cuts to our district would not only allow our schools to regain financial footing previously lost, it would also allow our students to benefit from programs that would give them more options for advancement and enrichment," Columbia Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Carol L. Powell said. "I was happy to meet with Secretary Rivera today to discuss how we can work together to meet our schools' needs, both financially and administratively."
Investing in professional development for educators and administrators, setting up supports for struggling students and invest in innovative learning opportunities were among the options provided in a letter Rivera sent to the superintendents of all 500 districts in March to ensure the education funding proposed in Wolf's 2015-2016 budget is spent directly on students in the classrooms, while providing administrators flexibility to invest in programs most needed in their schools.
In the letter, Rivera called on districts to submit plans to ensure this new investment reaches the classroom and to measure results for Pennsylvania's students. Ninety-six percent of Pennsylvania school districts across the commonwealth submitted funding impact plans to the state Department of Education, outlining how the governor's proposed $400 million basic education funding increase will be invested directly in classrooms.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education