Wolf signs $41 billion state budget, celebrates extra cash for K-12 schools

Written by on July 1, 2021

Wolf signs $41 billion state budget, celebrates extra cash for K-12 schools

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

July 1, 2021

Photo | Wolf Administration

The state now has a new $41-billion spending plan in place. Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers agreed to the deal last week.

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Wolf put his pen to multiple bills that together fund state programs and agencies, universities like the Pennsylvania State University, and other public resources like roads and schools.

Extra K-12 school funding, to the tune of $300 million, was applauded by both parties as the biggest accomplishment of the spending deal.

“It shows every student that we care about their education. It reminds every mom and every dad in Pennsylvania that we as a commonwealth are invested in the success of their children, and it’s gonna help the next generation of Pennsylvanians to succeed right here in Pennsylvania,” Wolf says. 

Though it’s a far cry from the $1.3 billion the Wolf administration asked for in February, Pottstown School District Superintendent Stephen Rodriguez says that’s ok.

“This funding may not be a touchdown, but it is a solid first down, because it addresses some of the inequity in our current funding structure,” Rodriguez says. 

Rodriguez’ district is among a group of 100 that will  be getting an extra $1 million each under the new plan.

The new spending plan also sets aside $2.5 billion surplus dollars in an emergency savings account and gives new tax breaks to companies that build and use computer server buildings known as data centers.

At the same time, lawmakers have put aside most of the state’s $7.3 billion in federal pandemic relief money for now.

Under the rules laid out for that money, states have until 2024 to earmark it.

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