Erie Schools’ State Funding Increase Enacted into Law


Video of Senator Laughlin’s comments when House Bill 674 received final legislative approval.

It’s official.

The recurring $14 million increase in state funding for the Erie School District was locked in place with the Governor’s signature of House Bill 674, the state Fiscal Code bill, according to Senator Dan Laughlin, who led the legislative effort to secure the extra money.

“We can all now breathe easy again. The wait is over and Erie’s schools will definitely get the state money they need,” said Senator Laughlin. “I haven’t been in the Senate very long, but I have definitely learned that you don’t relax or celebrate until a bill is finally enacted into law – especially when it comes it major issues such as the commitment of a substantial amount of state money.

“Fortunately, that chapter is now closed and the Erie School District will have the financial resources necessary to move forward,” Senator Laughlin continued. “They won’t be making any extravagant expenditures, but they should be able to avoid taking the drastic steps that would been necessary without this funding increase. Those steps would have had a long-term negative impact in our community. Instead, we can now see a future where all of our children get the quality education they need and deserve.”

            At Senator Laughlin’s request, the Erie School District was allocated $14 million in Educational Access Program Funding as a one-time, one-year expenditure in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 state spending plan that was enacted in July. The Fiscal Code, which is considered the “playbook for the state budget” made the $14 million part of annual Basic Education Funding paid by the state to Erie in support of its classroom programs, an effort that Senator Laughlin strenuously promoted to Senate Leadership.

            In seeking his Senate seat, Senator Laughlin made funding for the Erie School District his top priority. Having reached that goal in his first 10 months in office, Senator Laughlin said he is not ready to sit back and relax now.

            “Hopefully, this is just the beginning,” Senator Laughlin said. “We need good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and we need economic development that will provide wide-sweeping benefits to our community. We can do so much more to promote the lakefront and other strategic areas of Northwest Pennsylvania to national and international businesses. Even as I was thanking the Senate Leaders for securing the money for our schools, I warned them that I am not done and plan to come back to them for more in the future.”


Contact:          Matt Azeles     (717) 787-8927 or

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