For the past nine months, a standstill concerning the Pennsylvania’s budget occured due to the inability for the Governor Tom Wolf (Democrat) and the predominantly Republican state legislature to reach an agreement on the proposed spending budget and tax increases. During the standstill, six billion dollars was withheld from schools and other publicly funded organizations.
After six months without funding, the Pennsylvania School Board sued Wolf and the legislature claiming that it was unconstitutional for them to keep both federal and state aid from schools. Without the funds, some schools worried that they would not be able to reopen after winter break.
Wolf originally proposed a 7.1 percent spending increase and a major tax increase that would go towards school aid. The legislature, however, did not approve and responded with a bill with a three percent spending increase and no tax increase. Wolf threatened to veto the bill but decided against it. Instead, he let the bill become a law without his signature, which brought the standstill to an end on March 24. With the six billion dollars no longer being withheld, half of it is going towards the Pennsylvania school districts as well as 200 million going to the public schools.
The budget bill, while not as high as Wolf had originally proposed, still creates an increased budget for school funding.