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Secretary of Education Highlights Historic Investments to Create Pathways to Opportunity at Schools Across Bradford, Lycoming, and Tioga Counties

03/22/2024

Williamsport, PA - Over the past two days, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin toured several schools in Bradford, Lycoming, and Tioga counties to meet students engaged in high-quality learning programming that will prepare them for future career opportunities and highlight how the Shapiro Administration’s historic budget investments would create opportunity and expand pathways to success for students across the Commonwealth.

“The future of Pennsylvania’s workforce starts in the classroom, and the schools we visited over the past two days demonstrate the world of possibility open to today’s learners,” said Secretary Khalid N. Mumin. “By continuing to invest in high-quality educational programs across the Commonwealth, we are setting the stage for a prosperous economy, healthy communities, and happy Pennsylvanians.”

During visits to Lycoming CTC, Williamsport CTE, BLaST Intermediate Unit 17, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Northern Tier Career Center, and Commonwealth University’s Mansfield campus, Sec. Mumin learned how schools around the area are working to bolster the educator workforce, create pathways from school to career, and engaging learners in career readiness activities for in-demand jobs.

"We are honored to have had Secretary Mumin visit our schools and witness the remarkable work being done by our educators and students,” said Dr. Christina Steinbacher-Reed, Executive Director of BLaST Intermediate Unit 17. “By investing in career readiness programs and creating innovative pathways to teacher certification, we are not only preparing our students for success but also strengthening the future of education in our community and across the Commonwealth." 

The Shapiro Administration is committed to making sure students get the support they need to succeed – in school and beyond. The 2024-25 budget proposal builds on last year’s progress to bring significant new vo-tech ensure all Pennsylvania children have the opportunity to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed by investing in our public schools, teachers, facilities and more. 

This year’s proposal includes a nearly $1.1 billion increase in basic education funding – the largest in Pennsylvania history. The 2024-25 budget proposal also includes $300 million for school environmental repairs, $100 million for mental health supports in schools, a $50 million increase for special education funding, increases in career and technical education, a $50 million annual investment in school safety and security improvements, $10 million for the Educator Talent Recruitment Account, and $975 million to the community colleges and PASSHE universities that will comprise a new postsecondary system—a 15 percent increase in the amount of funding those institutions received last year.

This budget helps give Pennsylvania students the freedom to chart their own course and the opportunity to succeed by investing in pathways to success from K-12 to the workforce and beyond. After decades of disinvestment that have put postsecondary education out of reach for many Pennsylvanians, Governor Josh Shapiro recently announced his blueprint for higher education—a plan that dramatically increases funding for state colleges and universities, unites them under a new governance structure, and ensures students in the new system who make up to the median income will pay no more than $1,000 per semester in tuition and fees. Gov. Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal invests $975 million in the community colleges and PASSHE universities that will comprise this new system, a 15 percent increase in the amount of funding those institutions received last year. 

Governor Shapiro’s blueprint will help keep young people in Pennsylvania, attract more workers and companies to our Commonwealth, help students build the skills and gain the credentials they need to fill good-paying jobs, and ensure employers can find the skilled workers their businesses need to thrive and grow.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the Department of Education website or follow PDE on InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Taj Magruder, tmagruder@pa.gov

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