• In April 2006, the number of employed Pennsylvanians reached an all-time high of 5,747,500—120,000 more than when Governor Rendell took office in 2003. In the last four years, Pennsylvania has jumped from 41st in the nation for job growth to 15th. Additionally, in 2005 the statewide unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent for the first time since 2001 and have continued to be below the national average.
• While in office, Governor Ed Rendell signed into law an economic stimulus program that leverages some $2.3 billion in grants, loans and guarantees over the next five years to generate at least $5 billion in private-sector investment to help start new businesses in Pennsylvania and help existing companies expand here. Municipalities and businesses throughout the Commonwealth are already dipping into the pool of resources now available to boost our business climate, spur private sector growth, revitalize our housing and rebuild our infrastructure.
• Since taking office, Governor Rendell has increased preK-12 funding by nearly $1.2 billion in just 3 years. The education budget that Governor Rendell signed into law in 2004-05 represents the largest increase in school funding in a generation.
• Governor Rendell launched an ambitious tutoring program in 2003-04 with $25 million and has expanded the program every year – so that Pennsylvania now invest $66 million in tutoring funds for 175 school districts and Area Vocational-Technical Schools.
• The $200 million Accountability Block Grant also allows school districts to make investments in teacher training and teacher coaches – so that every Pennsylvania student is taught by an effective classroom teacher.
• Governor Rendell has also called for dramatic improvements in Pennsylvania Career & Technical Education – also known as “Votech.” These programs must deliver on high academic standards while preparing students for the high-skill jobs of the 21st century that are in demand in Pennsylvania.
• In 2005-06, Governor Rendell signed into law the largest increase in community college funding in 15 years. In addition, Governor Rendell established a new way of funding these important institutions that focuses on providing education and training in high-skill, high-priority occupations.