Allentown mayor hails Wolf budget’s focus on education, economic development

Written by on February 9, 2022

Allentown mayor hails Wolf budget’s focus on education, economic development

By Hayden Mitman
February 9, 2022

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed new $44 billion state budget calls for nearly $2 billion to support public education

If approved, it could be the biggest ever funding increase for public schools in Pennsylvania. 

Allentown’s mayor said it’s needed. 

Listen to the story.

Under Wolf’s proposal, the Allentown School District would receive more than $200 million in state funding, according to the Department of Education

Mayor Matt Tuerk said the proposed spending would be a boon for the underfunded school system.

“We have to invest in our kids. Smart communities are making investments into their kids,” said Tuerk, a Democrat like Wolf who took office in January.

With more than 17,000 students, Allentown has one of the largest school districts in the state. Tuerk, who has a child in the district, said that bolstering the school system is one of his top priorities for his first year in office. 

“The school district and the success of the school district is the most significant predictor of our success as a city,” he said.

Tuerk also touted the proposal’s investment in economic development. 

It includes more than $20 million for Ben Franklin Technology Partners, a statewide organization that invests in business start-ups. 

“It helps stimulate innovation at incubators, like Ben Franklin Tech Ventures on Lehigh’s campus, but it also helps early stage entrepreneurs who are doing creative investment into technology in places like Allentown,” Tuerk said.

The Republican-led legislature will have to approve Wolf’s proposal. A review and vote must come by the July 1 deadline. 

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