Wolf Administration Promotes Literacy Programs, Education Funding at Visit to Altoona Area School District

Altoona, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Dr. Noe Ortega today visited Pleasant Valley Elementary School in the Altoona Area School District to celebrate Read Across America and highlight Pennsylvania’s proposed investments in K-12 education.

“One of the best ways to get students excited about learning and to increase outcomes is through entertainment and engagement—two things that are found in the pages of any book,” said Sec. Ortega. “Just as important as continued investments in education, we need to ensure that school is an enjoyable space for students to grow and achieve, and we were thrilled to witness firsthand how Altoona’s students are immersed in the act of learning.”

To celebrate Read Across America, Sec. Ortega read “Your Future Is Bright” by Corey Finkle via livestream to more than 4,000 students at the district’s eight elementary schools. Established in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA) and coinciding with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Read Across America encourages learners across the country to dive into reading through events in libraries, schools, book clubs, and communities.

“We are honored to host Secretary Ortega and for the opportunity to showcase just some of the unique ways we are engaging students in learning through highly individualized programming in an environment that sparks creativity and innovation,” said AASD Superintendent Dr. Charles Prijatelj.   

Continuing Gov. Tom Wolf’s support for education across the commonwealth, his final budget proposes $1.55 billion in basic education funding, ​including $200 million for special education. During the past seven years, Governor Wolf has secured an additional $1.8 billion in funding for pre-K through college, including more than $1.1 billion for basic education, $190 million for special education, and $40 million for career and technical education.

The 2022-23 budget builds on these successful education and workforce development programs, further extending high-quality education to more Pennsylvanians; and laying a strong foundation for Pennsylvania’s future workers, citizens, and leaders.

The Altoona Area School District encompasses 59.6 square miles in the city of Altoona, Logan Township and a small portion of Tyrone Township.  The district includes one early learning center, eight elementary schools, one middle school and one high school with a current enrollment of 7,251 students.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, please visit the website or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kendall Alexander – kenalexand@pa.gov

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