Is Pennsylvania’s Budget Against the Education?

Gov. Corbett released the deep-cutting budget project. The $27.3 billion spending plan was received by conservatives. Republicans maintain that the budget will be completed and signed by the June 30 deadline for the first time in eight years.

And everybody begin to study the fine print in Corbett’s 1,184-page plan.

The proposal eliminates $625 million, or 52 % of state aid, for the 18 state-supported schools, include Temple and Lincoln Universities. So students could expect a tuition increase, faculty and staff layoffs,  some of Penn State’s smaller campuses closing.

“The proposal would be the single largest percentage state cut in the history of American public education,” – Penn State University president Graham Spanier said.

Alumni and students, parents are panicked.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) said, that it will ” make the difference between their children going to college or not.”

College funding is just one of the areas for cutting.  School boards are decrying the plan’s $1 billion in funding cuts to basic education, saying that will likely force local property-tax increases, particularly in districts already in the red.

One more fact: the absence of a proposal to tax natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale in the Corbett’s project. Pennsylvania is the only major gas-drilling state without such a tax.

A political science professor at Muhlenberg College, Chris Borick said ” Corbett’s budget only increased support in some quarters for a gas-drilling levy”.

Many in the legislature  said they are willing to engage in a serious debate over whether and how much to tax natural gas.

Finaly, Corbett’s budget proposal ended up unifying groups: environmentalists, unions, educators, and social-service advocates.

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