Thursday, 2 March 2006

Education sees more money in budget

Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 2 March 2006) -- Education is one of the only departments getting more money under Governor Rendell’s proposed 2006-2007 budget.

The head of the agency addressed lawmakers as budget hearings continued at the state Capitol.

Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak told the House budget committee the spending plan includes $517 million more for primary and secondary education.

That includes a five-percent increase in the basic education line item.

Zahorchak says the department has been working to meet the legislature’s charge to improve schools’ access to the internet.

“Ninety-two percent of our buildings have good connectivity now. We expect, by 2008, to have 100 percent of our schools” connected, Zahorchak said.

Zahorchak faced tough questioning from lawmakers.

One Republican was skeptical of the proposed Classrooms for the Future program, which would put a laptop on every desk in core subject classrooms. He said districts might want more local control over the extra dollars it would take.


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