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Budget Time! Help United Way Priorities Get Across the Finish Line 

June is now upon us, which means the ever-fun state budget season is happening in Harrisburg. As both chambers deliberate on their priorities and work to come to agreement on the 2018-19 budget, United Ways are hard at work making sure our top priorities are recognized and funding for them is included.  

One issue of great importance to United Ways across the commonwealth is early childhood education.   High-quality, publicly funded pre-k helps lay the foundation for a more competitive Pennsylvania and a competitive advantage for Pennsylvania starts with strong investments in early learning. With benefits such as high-quality, publicly funded pre-k that prepares children for success in school, alongside the learning and skill foundation developed, it's no wonder Pennsylvania will grow competitively and develop a stronger workforce. A $40 million investment in Pre-k is an investment in the future of Pennsylvania. This amount of funding will allow 4,400 more children be able to attend a high-quality pre-k program.  

Another top priority for United Ways is the continued funding of PA 2-1-1.  2-1-1 is the free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service that connects 97 percent of Pennsylvanians with all the health and human services available to help.  In 2017, just shy of 200,000 Pennsylvanians turned to 2-1-1 for help. People contact 2-1-1 to find information on basic needs, such as utility assistance or to find the closest food bank.  However, 2-1-1 also provides callers with everyday information like where to take their child for developmental screening, or how to locate job training.  Our ask for the 2018-19 budget is an investment of $1.5 million for our 2-1-1 needs.  This will expand access and allow for more Pennsylvanians to connect to the services they need.  

Please join us in the fight to secure funding for PA 2-1-1 and access to high-quality Pre-k in the 2018-2019 state budget! You can take action by writing or calling your state elected official to urge them to fund these critical programs.  

Pre-K Spotight:
75% of Voters Favor Increased Funding for Pre-K 

In a new poll, commissioned by the Pre-K for PA campaign and conducted by Harrisburg-based Harper Polling, there is a strong consensus, 94% in fact, that say early childhood education is important for Pennsylvania.  Further, 75% of likely voters support increased state funding to expand access to high-quality, publicly-funded pre-k.  This is an increase in supportive voters compared to a 2013 poll where that number was only 63%.   

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of likely Pennsylvania voters said they would support a tax increase to expand pre-k access.  64% of Pennsylvanians said they would pay an extra $50 in taxes to fund pre-k.  Again, this number has grown since the 2013 poll when only 56 percent of voters said they were will to pay more in taxes to fund pre-k.  

"Pennsylvanians value pre-k education for its proven benefits to each child fortunate enough to attend a high-quality pre-k, and they're willing to dig a little deeper into their own pockets to support expanded access for kids across the commonwealth," said Joan Benso, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, a founding partner of Pre-K for PA.  "Pennsylvania prospers when children succeed and pre-k is a key element in each child's success."

According to the poll, every single voting demographic in the state favors expanded access to pre-k by at least a two-to-one margin. Seniors favor it by more than a three-to-one margin.  Conservatives are for expanded access at a rate of two-to-one.

The additional $40 million in the 2018-19 budget proposal, if fully funded, will expand access to publicly funded pre-k to more than 4,400 new students. Currently more than 106,000 eligible children do not have access to high-quality, publicly funded pre-k due to limited state funding.

Since the inception of the Pre-K for PA Campaign, the commonwealth's investment in publicly funded pre-k has increased by $100 million, but lags far behind many neighboring states.  Today, Pennsylvania ranks 18th of the 30 states investing in high-quality, publicly funded pre-k. 

You can view the full poll results here.  

PA United Ways in the News 

United Way Invests $13.5 Million in Lehigh Community 

United Way of Blair County Kicks Off 25 Days of Caring 

Hundreds of Volunteers Pack Meals for Bucks County's Hungry and Food Insecure 

United Way of Wyoming Valley Invests in the Community 

UWGPSNJ Invests $14.1 Million from Impact Fund

Clarion County Welcomes 2-1-1 for Health and Human Service Calls

United Way of Beaver County Recognizes Campaign Supporters

United Way of Erie, Union Leaders Celebrate Labor, Student Excellence

United Way of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Moves Office Space

Program Teaches How Science Affects All Things

United Way of Monroe Recognizes Volunteers

United Way of Erie Hires a Teacher as Education Director 

Imagination Library Fundraising Drive

United Way of Southwestern PA Holding its Annual Build-a-Bike   
UWP 2018 Board Meetings 
June 20
September 19
December 12

UWP Annual Statewide Conference 
June 20-22, 2018 

Check Out What Your Local United Way has Going On
United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) is a state association representing our 48 member United Ways and United Funds across the Commonwealth. 

UWP's mission is to assist and champion the efforts of local United Ways in advancing the common good

Primarily UWP's work consists of government relations work on the policy issues affecting PA's communities in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.  In addition, UWP works with our local United Way members to support their efforts and offer support to their mission.  

Visit United Way of Pennsylvania's website
to learn more about how local United Ways are working to advance the common good

For any inquiries please contact us

How United Way Priorities Stack Up in the Race for Governor 

The two gubernatorial candidates, Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner, have been selected and now the race is on for the next Governor of Pennsylvania.  So how do they stack up on the issues of importance to United Way? 

Both candidates participated in the United Way of Pennsylvania candidate survey so we could learn more about their viewpoints on critical issues impacting Pennsylvanians.  The candidate survey offers Pennsylvanians the opportunity to learn where the two gubernatorial candidates stand on a variety of issues related to education, health, financial stability and the nonprofit sector. 

The full survey results are available on the UWP public website on the  2018 Gubernatorial Candidates on the Issues link. The full set of responses has been posted for each candidate. The responses are available in two formats: sorted by issue area, or sorted by candidate.

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