Gov. Tom Corbett plans to ask Pennsylvania lawmakers for a $10 million increase for early education grants in his budget address next week.
The proposal would amount to a 16 percent increase in funding for the state’s Pre-K Counts program.
“Our Pre-K Counts programs consistently deliver high-quality pre-K education,” Corbett said Thursday. “We’re not talking just babysitting, we’re talking care, we’re talking about teaching, we’re talking about nurturing.”
Going into the fiscal year beginning in July, estimates show a deficit of more then $1 billion. But Corbett has given advance notice of a few other increases he plans to request in his spending plan — such as more assistance for abuse victims and initiatives serving those with intellectual disabilities.
Recently Corbett called on lawmakers need to come up with a better way of dividing education funding to the 500 school districts and other school entities, including charters. But that shouldn’t be confused with saying that the school system needs more funding, he cautioned.
“What I’ve been saying is we need to look at how we’re investing. Does more spending mean better education?” he said. “I’m going to turn to my secretary of education. And I think many people say more spending isn’t necessarily going to get you better education.”
In his budget address Tuesday, the governor also is expected to outline another attempt at overhauling the public pension systems.
But he said he’s not counting on savings from it to be used to increase spending elsewhere in the budget.