Tomorrow, the debate over the priorities of our state budget will begin in earnest with the release of Governor Corbett’s budget proposal. Public education is going to be a very hot topic this year. Each year, the Governor’s budget proposal sets up the conversation that will continue as negotiations move forward through the spring. We will be following up after the Governor’s address with more information about the implications for schools and potential impacts on students – so we can all band together to speak up for the Pennsylvania we want to live in!
- Gov. Corbett has led the effort to cut nearly $2 billion in investments
over two years in the education of our children, causing program cuts,
increases in class sizes and reductions in services like tutoring,
library access and more!
- Along with the loss of dollars, we have lost significant ground on
fixing a broken system for how schools are funded. Nearly all of the
progress that was made to try to fix it has been lost. There are still
terrible disparities from one community to the next and an over-reliance
on property taxes.
- It looks like Gov. Corbett is feeling the heat – early reports
suggest he is going to propose something to restore a portion of the
funding – which he himself has cut -- because there has been a lot of
voter anger for how extreme the cuts have been. BUT – if you take money
from someone you are no hero for giving some of it back.
- We’ll be watching to make sure that restoring funding and making
investments in education are not conditioned on any political deal!
Pennsylvania’s children did not make the risky decision to suspend
pension payments and their future shouldn’t be dependent on how we
manage our liquor stores. Paying the state obligation for pensions has
nothing to do with whether or not we support high quality education.
Starting tomorrow, we’ll be kicking off our spring campaign asking
the legislature to properly support schools and permanently adopt a sensible approach to funding our schools:
one that looks at what it costs to meet today’s learning standards; one
that uses a fiscally responsible formula-based approach to stop the
ridiculous over-reliance on property taxes and one that meets our
Constitutional mandate to adequately support our schools.
Each of us has a vital role to play this year in helping make sure
that we get public education back on track, and we need to be ready to
rise to the occasion! Thank you so much for your continued involvement
in support of good public education and a strong year of working
together for an opportunity to learn for every child and for good
schools in every community. Stay tuned!