(Feb 3) Education funding at forefront as Pa. awaits Corbett’s budget address

By John Kopp, Delaware County Daily Times  POSTED:  

Gov. Tom Corbett will give the final budget address of his term Tuesday, but the Republican has yet to escape the shadow cast by his first.

Corbett infamously slashed public education funding by $1 billion in 2011 to help close an anticipated $4.2 billion deficit.

Three years later, Corbett still faces a consistent chorus of criticism for his decision. Democrats, school district administrators and the state teachers’ union accuse him of balancing the budget on the backs of poor school districts.

Corbett’s response has not wavered, either: The cuts were due to expired federal stimulus funding of which he had no control. He routinely notes that state funding for basic education has risen to historic levels.

 “While other politicians may govern by election cycles, Governor Corbett is committed to making the tough decisions that make Pennsylvania a better place to live, work and raise a family and create better opportunities for future generations,” Corbett’s campaign press secretary, Billy Pittman, wrote in an email.

Corbett’s pleas have done little to subdue the criticism. With polls revealing education as a top issue, Corbett’s budget address presents an opportunity to change the conversation. He reportedly will propose increasing the public education budget by $100-200 million.

Full story: Education funding at forefront as Pa. awaits Corbett’s budget address John Kopp, Delco Times, 2/2/14


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