Venkat applauds increased investments in public schools

HARRISBURG, July 5 – With the House of Representatives now having considered House Bill 611, which provides for the state’s budget, on concurrence, state Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, applauds increased investments in public schools without increasing property taxes, along with other historic investments without any additional taxes.

As part of the state’s budget, funding will increase to $4.34 million for Avonworth School District, $7.69 million for Hampton School District and $17.26 million for North Allegheny School District, making a 10.7 percent increase, 5.5 increase and 8.3 increase in investments for the three school districts within the 30th Legislative District. It also allocates $100 million in unspent federal COVID-19 relief funds to provide grants for mental health services at schools.

“The increase in state funding is a down payment so that the state may begin to meet its obligations on public education without increasing property taxes, which in turn reduces the burden on taxpayers in McCandless, Franklin Park, Ohio Township, Kilbuck, Emsworth, Ben Avon, Ben Avon Heights, and western Hampton Township,” Venkat said.

The budget also invests more than $238.8 million in state dollars for the Department of Health, funding programs to aid local health departments, address maternal health and more, he noted.

The state’s budget makes historic investments in students, seniors and people with disabilities through at least an 8% increase in Basic Education funding and expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

The bill appropriates approximately $45 billion for the state’s budget without any increases to state taxes. It now advances to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk.