Passing the Buck: Governor Corbett Unveils New Budget

Corbett's plan includes more than $1 billion in educational cuts

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett unveiled his budget Tuesday afternoon, and though the budget comes in at 3 percent below last year's, the steep cuts in education cannot be ignored.

Corbett proposes cutting over $800 million from the public school system, by eliminating more than $250 million in grant money, and slashing $550 million from K-12 public schools.

Additionally, state-owned universities will be facing a budget reduction of more than $625 million, which represents more than half of their previous budget.

So what does this all mean?

While Governor Corbett seems to have achieved his goal of not implementing any new taxes, all he has done is passed the buck to students and Pennsylvania residents.

In order for public schools to recoup their budget losses, Corbett advocates that school districts acquire voter approval to raise property taxes.  This isn't a "new tax," but it sure as heck is a raise in taxes, as a direct result of Corbett's budget.

With the state's universities facing even more drastic cuts, I think it's safe to say they'll adjust their tuition accordingly to offset the losses.  This isn't a "new tax," but it will amount to an incredible increase in education costs for college students across the Commonwealth.

In addition to the aforementioned budget cuts, Corbett also proposes taking another look at each school district's collective bargaining agreements, in an effort to slap a one-year salary freeze on all district personnel. 

There are plenty of other cuts and issues which are worth debating, but I fail to see how the public is served by cutting education costs.

With all that we face on a local, state, and federal level, we're going to need our future generations to be sharp. 

Universities are already claiming that freshman tend to be ill-equipped for college, so what do we do?  Cut K-12 funding and ask schools to increase their tuition without increasing the education.  Instead of arming our future generations with the tools needed to succeed, we'll instead hamstring them with debt and a second rate education, all in the name of budget cuts.

Education is our only saving grace.  It is our only hope to rectify the abundance of social and economic issues that we face.  To cut funding is to draw down Old Glory and raise a white flag.

Brian Rox March 09, 2011 at 12:42 PM
It's a shame when that is what we decide to do. As a state we let oil companies slide on the backs of our children. When uneducated people have few economic choices where do they turn?
Deb Scotti March 09, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Unbelievable! What I want to know, for teachers who take wage freezes, does that mean food, utilities, clothing, gas and the cost of all other necessaties will not increase for them? Just keep taking from the middle class and give to corporations, so the money will trickle down right? Yeah like that's happening now. Corporations are outsourcing to third world countries. Tell me Gov. Corbett if you take away peoples right to a good education, make college unaffordable and make collective bargaining illegal what will my children do to support themselves in the future?
Shelly McMaster March 10, 2011 at 12:16 AM
For example how much more money does Penn State need with a student population of 80,000 and costs of $15,250 for tuition and Fees + $10,486 for room board books and supplies per year. Do the math , to many zeros for my calculator to handle. Does it really cost that much? And here is another question..Why can Montgomery County Community College do the same thing for $1400 per semester? Cut away Corbett!
Raymond A Hopkins March 10, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Shelly. MCCC does not do, nor do they try to do what PSU does. In fact they have a matriculation program because they know they cann't do what PSU does. Do you actually know programs PSU offers the state and the number of people they employee? Do you know how many programs Pitt and other colleges offer that benefit all of the state and the nation?
Keith Heffintrayer March 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM
College tuition is high enough as it is, and we can all probably agree that amount surpasses the quality of education received, hence going to 2 years of MCCC then off to a four year state program. The problem is cutting funding will only push cost to the student. If you think the institutes of higher learning are going to simply say "Well our budget is half of what it used to be. Let's cut tuition and reexamine out infrastructure", than you're sorely mistaken. Tuition will rise, and students will be on the hook. I'm all in favor of fixing what is broken, and that is done through reform, not blindly cutting money and pushing responsibility onto the people who are, quite frankly, already over-burdened. When your property taxes shoot up due to Souderton Area School District lacking funding, whose fault will that be?


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