Eric Hagarty says goodbye to the Pennsylvania Department of Education
With the swearing-in of Josh Shapiro as Pennsylvania’s 48th governor, a new era begins.
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On Monday, Jan. 16, the now-former Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty shared a message of appreciation for his time serving the Wolf administration on social media.
“It was the honor of a lifetime to serve in this role, and I poured my heart into it,” Hagarty wrote.
He served as the Acting Secretary of Education for nine months, but had worked with former Governor Wolf for nine years. In his letter, Hagarty first thanked the entire community that was part of his time as the secretary of education, from students and parents to librarians and the Department of Education staff.
The second part of the letter was an appreciation for Governor Wolf's work and legacy. Hagarty highlighted Wolf's health insurance expansion and education investment as the most impactful changes.
Regarding education, Hagarty mentioned the most historic education funding increases in Pennsylvania’s history — signed into law by former Governor Wolf in July 2022, as part of the 2022-23 budget. It represents a nearly $2 billion single-year increase, which includes, among many more:
- A $225 million increase targeted to support the 100 most in-need school districts;
- A $100 million increase in school safety grants;
- A $220 million increases for public higher education;
Hagarty also takes pride in the development of new plans for libraries, teachers and needy students.
The Foundation of Our Economy: Pennsylvania Educator Workforce Strategy, for example, consists of dozens of action steps to be taken between now and 2025 in order to address the educator workforce shortage. Hagarty wrote that the plan focuses on “meeting the educator staffing needs in different areas; building a diverse workforce representative of the students we serve; ensuring educator access to high-quality and relevant professional growth and leadership development opportunities”; and many more.
Targeting the hunger issue among students, the administration also dedicated $21.5 million to provide for universal free breakfast in all Pennsylvania schools and created the Hunger Free Campus Initiative — to help ensure access to free, healthy food on college campuses across the state.
Hagarty said he is excited to see what amazing things the new Education Secretary Khalid Mumin — who was appointed by Governor Shapiro earlier this year — will do. His swearing-in takes place today right after Shapiro’s.
“It is an honor to now serve as Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of Education and ensure every child in PA receives a quality education and the opportunity to shape their own future,” new Secretary of Education Munin wrote on social media.
To read more about other initiatives that Hagarty and the administration are proud of, read here his open gratitude letter.
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