February 8, 2012
Once again, Governor Corbett has targeted education to bear the brunt of budget cuts. And once again, I am calling on you to stand with me in support of public education tomorrow night (Thursday, February 9) at Downingtown High School East at 7 p.m.
Yesterday’s budget address marked the beginning of the latest battle in the Corbett administration's ongoing attack on public education. The governor has proposed slashing more than $500 million from all levels of public education, including more than $200 million from community colleges and institutes of higher education. There is no doubt that these cuts will set back Pennsylvania’s educational system years and undermine all of our efforts for long-term economic growth and prosperity.
At the same time, the governor continues to be misleading regarding his cuts to early childhood and basic education. He even went as far as to insist that the basic education subsidy was not reduced last year! Meanwhile, we know that school districts in Chester County received $23.4 million less in state funding (with cuts ranging from 7 percent to 22 percent per district), resulting in teacher layoffs and local property tax increases!
The governor is attempting to paint a rosy picture of his proposal, but the truth is the cuts are even worse than initially expected. Basically, Corbett is phasing out and collapsing several funding streams into one line-item in order to make it appear that funding is actually increasing.
|Watch Senator Dinniman's reaction
to the Governor's budget proposal.
In 2008-09, school districts received:
- $5,226,808,780 for basic education funding
- $443,059,553 for payments on account of social security
- $516,620,000 for payments on account of pupil transportation
- 78,817,000 for payments on account of nonpublic/charter transportation
- $226,936,000 for reimbursements for charter school expenses
- $271,425,000 for Accountability Grants
- $65,142,000 for Education Assistance (Tutoring) Program
$6,830,808,333 in education funding
In 2012-13, the Governor is proposing:
- $5,354,522,468 for basic education funding
- $504,775,000 for payments on account of social security
- $524,255,000 for payments on account of pupil transportation
- 77,664,000 for payments on account of nonpublic/charter transportation
- $0 for reimbursements for charter school expenses
- $0 for Accountability Grants
- $0 for Education Assistance (Tutoring) Program
$6,479,216,468 in education funding
That means school districts throughout Pennsylvania will receive $351,591,965 LESS in 2012-13 than they received in 2008-09. Regardless of what the governor calls it, there is no denying that that amounts to a substantial decrease in funding.
In addition, Corbett’s budget plan also calls for cuts to proven and effective early childhood education programs. While it looks like level funding for Pre-K Counts and the State Supplemental Head State Program, they are both in the cross-hairs for more reductions.
||$4.14 million cut
||$1.8 million cut
The situation is dire and we must act now. We can’t afford to wait until June and allow an anti-education budget and agenda to pass. That is why we are asking all those who value public education to come together for a meeting on Thursday, February 9, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Downingtown High School East in Exton.
We must come together to organize and to protect funding for all levels of public education. It is our hope to create an ongoing Coalition for Public Education that will stand strong as we face this year’s state budget and any other challenges to public education.
Please let us know if you can attend the Feb 9 meeting by contacting Deb Woolson at my office at (610) 692-2112 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend but are interested in becoming involved in the planned Coalition for Public Education, also let us know.
Offices of State
Senator Andy Dinniman