HARRISBURG (February 5) – State Senator Andy Dinniman today issued the following statement in response to Governor Tom Corbett’s 2013-14 budget proposal:
“As Minority Chair of the Senate Education Committee, I am deeply concerned by another budget proposal that continues to the pass the buck to local taxpayers.
Over the last two years, the Corbett administration has stripped more than $900 million in funding from our schools. This year, the governor is calling for restoring a fraction of that funding and supplementing it with savings that are tied to pension and liquor reform plans – plans that may never materialize. This budget proposal is built on a house of cards.
When the governor’s proposal fails to invest adequate resources in education despite the rising costs facing our schools, it is not only jeopardizing our future, it is passing the buck to local homeowners and property taxpayers. Our schools are already doing more with less. And by refusing to provide sufficient investments in education, it is inevitable that this budget proposal will result in an increase in the most onerous of taxes – the school property tax.
In addition, the governor’s proposal calls for establishing an education block grant program from $1 billion in revenues realized from privatization of the state’s liquor stores. Again, this is a revenue source that is entirely up in the air. But even if this plan does come to fruition, none of that funding will help shoulder the basic costs of education, save financially distressed schools, solve the pension crisis or lower school property taxes. Instead, funds for the four-year block grant program will be swallowed by increased spending on supplemental programs and capital projects.”