Williams Backs Historic Levels of Education Funding and Public Safety

PA State Rep. Craig WilliamsPA State Rep. Craig Williams

HARRISBURG, PA — Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chester/Delaware) joined a majority of House colleagues this week in passing a budget for 2022-23 that increases funding for education and public safety.

“This budget passed with overwhelming bipartisan support because it does much to help people, especially in education, mental health and public safety,” Williams said.

The new budget sets a record high of $15 billion for PreK-12 education, and funds basic education at more than $7 billion.

The school districts in the 160th District will receive the following in Basic Education Funding increases:

  • Unionville-Chadds Ford- $364,000.
  • Garnet Valley School District: $550,000.
  • Kennett Square School District: $996,000.
  • Chichester School District: $262,000.

Overall, the budget increases Basic Education Funding by $525 million, to $7.08 billion.  That includes increases to Early Childhood Education by $60 million for Pre-K Counts and $19 million for Head Start Supplemental Assistance, an increase of $100 million in Special Education Funding, a $6 million increase for Career and Technical School Funding, and we dedicated $250 million to level up the funding for the poorest school districts.

The budget also includes a $100 million increase in funding for school safety and security, and another $100 million for school mental health initiatives through the School Safety and Security formula.

“We have also increased funding for safety and security in our neighborhoods,” Williams said. “That includes funding for the Project Safe Neighborhoods program I ushered through the state House.”

The budget funds violence intervention and prevention programs with the current $30 million in state funding, but supplements these funds with an additional $75 million for a $105 million total.

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To reduce the trend of increasing crime and diminished local law enforcement capacity, local police and law enforcement will also benefit from a $135 million increase in funds for local law enforcement support grants.

“This budget will allow the Pennsylvania State Police to train two new cadet classes so 200 additional troopers will be able to protect communities throughout the state,” Williams said.

Other safety funds will dedicate $7.7 million to mobile video and body cameras.

“With gun violence on the rise, we dedicated $3 million to the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program that I have fought so hard for, and we allocated $50 million for gun violence investigation and prosecution grants that will go to local district attorneys,” Williams said.

To improve access to mental health care in Pennsylvania, the budget allocates $100 million in funds for a collaborative care mental health initiative. This is expected to be integrated care to deliver timely psychiatric care in the primary care setting. The use of these funds will be developed in consultation with experts in the field over the summer with enacting legislation to follow.

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