Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 adds $90 million to basic education funding.
It would also increase spending on early-childhood education, including a 5 percent increase for prekindergarten programs.
Local school superintendents are cautiously optimistic about the education spending plan.
Turkeyfoot Superintendent Darlene Pritt said she is pleased that the governor has taken into account the continual need for the accountability block grant, special education funds, additional funding to basic education subsidy funding and Pre-K Counts funding. All four of these funds help school districts provide the basic education students need.
"However, I believe districts still need additional funding to be able to provide supplementary electives that will take our students into the 21st century," Pritt said. "Many students are left behind because they do not have the skills and or knowledge needed to become productive students in today's ever-changing society. I think we need a lot more information in regards to the Passport for Learning Block Grant before we can make comments to this grant. My understanding is that funds will be set aside for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), school safety training, early childhood learning programs and individualized learning."
Shade-Central City Superintendent John Krupper said the governor's budget for 2013-14 sounds better than in years' past, but he cautions that he hasn't seen the Shade district's figures.
"Sounds better but I say that with some hesitation," he said. "I'll have a better idea once I see what Shade is going to receive from PDE (Pennsylvania Department of Education) Harrisburg. Overall, it sounds good but once again I will wait and see what the final numbers are."
North Star Superintendent Shawn Kovac said like the pension proposal, the education budget is a plan that will undergo consideration and much debate.
"There are many factors at the state level which may affect the final budget," he said. "We will continue to monitor those discussions as the budget process continues in Harrisburg."
Somerset Superintendent Krista Mathias said in comparison to the subsidy reductions districts have faced in prior years, this budget appears to level-fund public education.
"In that way, it is positive," she said. "We'll still be looking at other funding streams (such as those from the federal level) to determine how our revenues match up with our costs as we move through budget season."