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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.

Raymond A Hopkins March 08, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Dear Mr. Corrbett. Mr. is the kindest title I can give you because backwards looking, ignorant, slow minded, weak willed, yellow, politician may get me labeled as non supportive of the Republican Party in a ULTRA REPUBLICAN town and region. You seem to think "we the people" are either to stupid or too ignorant to how funding works for the state to see your budget is a smoke and mirrors game in which you hope to make your "no tax" promise come true, by passing it off to the local municipalities and private citizens. I want funding to schools. I want a lot of funding to schools. I want our children to be able to learn and achieve and grown and be sucessful and hopefully succeed where we all fail. Being able to plan to save, understand accounting pricinciples, say no, and rationalize. You cut funding to education, why? So you can do a backdoor Walker or Christie. In terms of breaking teachers unions because you think where the money will come from is benefit and salary. Yeah, it is going to come in not replacing technology, textbooks, school busses. It will come in the lack of staff to run the school. In cutting of currciulm, advanced training for teachers.
Raymond A Hopkins March 08, 2011 at 09:49 PM
You think asking for pay freezes and more contributions will work better if you do it after you try to cut off funding. You are taking the actions and mind set of an idiot. Planning to cut funding so people will say, OH OK, I WILL WORK FOR LESS...rather than push back. You have a multiyear state police hiring initiative that you want to fund in one year. When they are multi year you can fund them OVER MULTIPLE YEARS. You have people retiring from the state police, fine, but why not hire some additional officers to have them trained with vcets, but we don't need everyone one now. There are costs like Benefits, uniforms, vehicles to transport them around in, training, all of these aspects that need to be covered. Yet all of it not in 2011.
Raymond A Hopkins March 08, 2011 at 09:50 PM
You increase money to the Revenue Department? Why in an age of automation doe you not keep the staff you have, train them, but use technology to fill gaps like processing payments and sending out paperwork. Why do you feel you need to divert money there to buld up staff and salary? Is it really that bad? Are people leaving all the time? I mean if they are, perhaps salary shouldn't be as large of a problem, they don't stay long enough for raises. But seriously this one needs more explination. Then there is the pet projects you are funding and the twitter Hash phrases you cut. Seriously do you want to be on Fox News, Colbert Report, and The Daily Show tonight? I mean you are doing a great job, but you could probably just offer to go on and they would have you. Again, like the National budget, this needs lots of work. This is like a rough, rough draft in school and we your teacher want to know if you even researched the topic before you put pencil to paper or just hit the popular points you thought would distract us.
Keith Heffintrayer March 08, 2011 at 10:20 PM
Wow Ray! I guess Corbett struck a nerve!
Rich V March 08, 2011 at 11:16 PM
I guess Ray is all about not cutting school funding at all. You are a disgruntled Democrate and probably a Union Guy. You do not represent me or the majority of Pennsylvania residents so STOP throwing SLURS...It was Slick Eddie Rendell that put the State in the BIND...Gifting money to school districts..State Universities...WHY..Because he wanted his LEGACY to be that of an Education Governor...ALL WITH OUR TAX DOLLARS...NICE. Well if you give them the money they will spend it and they did...not on good projects but building up more local school and State University stupid programs that do NOTHING TO BETTER EDUCAT children. Did you ever look at the very large number of Deans, Assistant Deans, Assistants to the Assistants Deans in these Universities both State funded and Private...It is sickening. THE ONLY WAY TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE BEAST IS TO JUST CUT FUNDING IT AND THE SYSTEM WILL RETOOL ITSELF TO PROVIDE THE PROPER EDUCATION TO CHILDREN...remember.....CORBETT DID NOT CREATE THE DEFICIT..RENDELL DID WITH 8 YEARS OF WILD SPENDING AND TAX INCREASES ALMOST EVERY YEAR AT SOME LEVEL....SO STOP BEING SO INNOCENT ..YOU ARE NOT!!! YOU AND YOUR TYPE ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM..
Raymond A Hopkins March 09, 2011 at 02:32 AM
Ok so Rich, I welcome you very interesting assumptions about me and while they would be something I would expect of most of our ultra conservative Republicans, I guess I would have hoped someone who does support cutting education would hqave perhaps understood a few of my points a bit closer with regard to context clues included. Union guy point: I am not anti union when it comes to police, fire, emergency responders, Metal workers and those in those areas where they are most vulnerable. I do feel if you want to break the back of a Union in private or Public offices or schools, be man enough to say it is what you are doing. Slurs: Well It would be a slur to some, but to many his actions and words support this. Fast Eddie was not the only one destroying and spending. Ridge did a number with Deregulation of utilities huh? Good work there. While he was Govenor during the end of the 90's and his 4 stadiums are probably really great legacy, but what about his failures in other areas besides diplomacy. You can cut, but increasing the Department of Revenue, State Police multiple year plan, and increase welfare funding by $607.7 million seems to me not cutting all the extreme draws on the revenue we could use in education. So tell me about the wild spending? We can cut the education, but soon will pay for those in welfare when they drop out of school because it pays better than the left over jobs.
Raymond A Hopkins March 09, 2011 at 02:33 AM
As for my kind. If you mean Independent voter who does not aling with either party because of the poor job done by either side showing me how they will do more then serve themself. What else would you like to know?
Raymond A Hopkins March 09, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Oh and " stupid programs that do NOTHING TO BETTER EDUCAT children" perhaps you should try being a product of these insititutions and see what these programs offer. Bio and Phrama advances, advances in sciences, mathmatical and engineering improvements, and the quality of overall additional so called "Stupid programs".
Keith Heffintrayer March 09, 2011 at 03:21 AM
Unfortunately, as an independant voter, you're going to get it from both sides.
ROB BAILEY March 09, 2011 at 03:41 AM
At least he isnt cutting fire departments and police departments.
Keith Heffintrayer March 09, 2011 at 03:48 AM
Touche' Rob
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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