Roebuck highlights positives in new state budget

HARRISBURG, June 30 – State Rep. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Democratic chairman of the House Education Committee, said the new state budget is far from perfect but does contain some positive items.

"The new budget does include $250 million more for K-12 education, including a $200 million increase in the basic education subsidy, although this still leaves state classroom funding for schools below the level of six years ago. We are still digging out from four years of Corbett-Republican cuts that hit lower-income districts like Philadelphia the hardest," Roebuck said.

Roebuck also welcomed the new budget's 2.5 percent increase in funding for higher education, including two historically black universities in Pennsylvania, Cheyney and Lincoln universities, both located in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The new budget package also includes larger increases for two scholarship programs. It provides a $163,000 increase, or 30 percent more, for the Bond-Hill scholarship program, which helps students at Cheyney and Lincoln, and a $288,000 increase, or nearly 19 percent more, for Cheyney's Keystone Honors Academy.