Senator Williams

Harrisburg, Pa. − June 25, 2024 − Today, Senator Lindsey M. Williams’ Career and Technical Education Funding Bill passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously. Senate Bill 366 is co-prime sponsored by all six Senate members of the Basic Education Funding Commission. It requires that the data used to calculate Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding be fixed on June 1 of each year. This change gives Career and Technical Centers (CTCs) greater predictability over their budgets and aligns the CTE funding formula with the Special Education and Basic Education funding formulas.

“Career and Technical Education gives students across Pennsylvania hands-on workforce training and credentialing that leads to family sustaining careers, often at low- or no-cost to students,” said Senator Williams. “This administrative change will give our CTCs the financial predictability they need to offer or expand programs that prepare students for in-demand jobs in the trades, healthcare, education, food preparation, and more.” 

Senator Williams, who serves as the Minority Chair of the Senate Education Committee, hosted a Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) hearing at Pittsburgh Public Schools Westinghouse in October to highlight the positive impact that CTE has on student learning and outcomes. This hearing also illustrated how CTE fits into a constitutional system of public education – one that fully and fairly funds the resources that students need to succeed. 

During the hearing, Dr. Darby Copeland, President of the Pennsylvania Association of Career & Technical Administrators and Executive Director of Parkway West, testified that the current method of funding leaves CTCs “unable to open new programs necessary to support regional workforce and economic development.” He further testified that unpredictable funding makes it harder for CTCs and district-run CTE programs to update their facilities, grow student enrollment, or offer new programs. SB 366 addresses these concerns by giving administrators and business managers additional time to properly plan and budget for the coming year. 

Currently, the Public School Code requires the career and technical education funding formula to include the most recently available data from the state. This means area career and technical schools cannot predict their funding for the next year, even after the state budget is passed, because the data used to determine their funding is updated in the middle of the fiscal year. SB366 corrects this problem by locking in the data used in the formula on the first day of June – as we have already done for the Basic Education and Special Education funding formulas.

This bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by all six Senate Members of the Basic Education Funding Commission: Sen. David Argall, Majority Chair of the Senate Education Committee (R-Carbon, Luzerne, Schuylkill); Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill, BEFC Co-Chair (R-York); Sen. Vincent Hughes , Minority Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee (D-Montgomery, Philadelphia); Sen. Nick Miller (D-Lehigh, Northampton), and Sen. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry).

You can view Senator Williams’ full remarks during today’s voting meeting on her website.