The Senate Democratic Caucus has consistently voted for common sense public education improvement initiatives including Pre-K, full day kindergarten, smaller class size and tutoring assistance that have resulted in increased test scores in math and reading for Pennsylvania students. The caucus has worked to include greater funding for community colleges that provide job training and college studies for workers and students close to home.
Legislation I’m Working On
The Pennsylvania Promise will be administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and will cover tuition and fees for recent high school graduates attending one of the 14 community colleges and tuition and fees at a state-owned or state-related university for students with a family income of $110,000 or less per year. Students whose family income is $48,000 or less will also be eligible for assistance with costs associated with room and board.
What Senator Costa & the Senate Democrats have done:
Make a Commitment to Fund Schools at the State Level
Make Higher Ed Accessible
Ensure that Children are Prepared for School
Retain Highly Skilled and Experienced Educators
General Assembly Democrats, Local Leaders Across PA Call for Immediate Action on Toxic and Unsafe School Infrastructure
Statewide, PA − June 11, 2021 -- As the projected state budget surplus surged to $3 billion and more than $7 billion in federal aid remains idled by inaction, Senate & House Democrats gathered in front of local schools across Pennsylvania on Friday to call for...
House & Senate Democrats Join Gov. Wolf to Call for Investing in Schools, Delivering Equity for all Students
HARRISBURG, June 8, 2021 – House and Senate Democrats and advocates for students from across the state joined Gov. Tom Wolf to call for investing half of the $3 billion in above-expected state revenue into improving schools for students statewide, and fully...
Senator Costa Announces $750,000 in Education Equity Grants
Pittsburgh, Pa. – August 6, 2020 – Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. today announced the award of $250,000 for local school districts in two different grant programs promoting educational equity and access for the 2020-21 academic year. “The academic year...
Senator Costa Celebrates Fresh Food Grants to Local Schools
PITTSBURGH, PA – July 15, 2019 – Today, Senator Jay Costa announced the award of federal grants to local elementary schools to fund healthy, fresh food programs for students. “Our young students can’t learn properly if they aren’t properly fed,” said Senator Costa. “A...
Senator Costa Announces $350,000 in Anti Violence Grant for Woodland Hills School District & Communities
Harrisburg, Pa. − April 30, 2019 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. announced today $350,000 in state grant funding in a violence prevention initiative for the Woodland Hills School District communities in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Action Against...
Senator Costa Statement on Penn Hill School District
Pittsburgh, PA − January 16, 2019 − Senator Costa released the below statement on Penn Hill School District:
Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) announced that the Penn Hills School District will be taking its next steps toward complete financial recovery by entering the Commonwealth’s Financial Recovery Program. While in financial watch status PDE identified several areas that the district can improve upon to put it on solid financial footing. This new program will bring expert staff and new resources to Penn Hills to ensure that they stay on course to full financial recovery, while maintaining local control.
Senators Costa & Fontana Congratulate Pittsburgh School District on $1.6 Million State Education Grant
Pittsburgh, Pa. − August 27, 2018 − Senators Jay Costa, Jr. and Wayne D. Fontana jointly congratulated the Pittsburgh School District on the award of $1.6 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to support school improvement. “I want to...
Pa Senate Democrats Applaud On-Time Budget with Investments in Education, Health Care, Workforce Development and Social Justice
HARRISBURG, PA − June 22, 2018 − The Pennsylvania Senate passed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19 (House Bill 2121) by a vote of 47-2. “In January, the Senate Democratic caucus outlined our priorities for the year and this budget puts the money where our mouths...
Senator Costa floor remarks on Gun Violence and School Safety
Costa: Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Benefit Student
Harrisburg, April 21, 2017 — Efforts to educate local students about environmental issues will be bolstered by more than $50,000 in state Environmental Education Grant funding, Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) announced today. “There is nothing more important than providing...
Costa, Hughes Support Budget Becoming Law; New Funds for Education, Opioid Treatment
Harrisburg, July 10, 2016 - Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) and Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent J. Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) released the following comments in support of Gov. Tom Wolf's announcement that he was allowing the...
Senate Democrats Say Wolf’s Budget Focused on Education, Deficit Reduction
Harrisburg – Feb. 9, 2016 – Facing an unfinished 2015-16 budget with the need to reconcile a 2016-17 spending plan that has a looming $2 billion deficit, Gov. Tom Wolf was forced to focus his second state budget proposal on education and deficit reduction, according...
Senator Costa on Arts & Education Week in PA
Senator Costa on Arts & Education Week in PA :: September 30, 2015
Senator Jay Costa: Mr. President, I rise today to offer the resolution, which was pronounced that recognizes September 27th through October 3rd as Arts & Education Week here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Senate Democrats Hail New Basic Education Funding Formula
Harrisburg, June 18, 2015 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), Sens. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/Perry) who serve as members of the Basic Education Funding Commission (BEFC) today hailed the new proposed statewide education funding formula as a responsible, predicable and equitable approach that would improve education for all students.