All right Mr. Mason, you are right, and I apologize for my error. But using the correct budget numbers we still find that the pre-stimulus K-12 budget was substantially higher than last year's. Here are the corrected figures:
In 2008-09 (pre-stimulus), under Rendell, the state spent $9.597 billion on PK-12 education (“basic education”).
In 2011-12, under Corbett, the state spent $9.225 billion on PK-12 education (“basic education”).
So Corbett allocated $372 million LESS last year for PK-12 education than the state spent pre-stimulus in 2008-09.
Note that there is a line item within the category “PK-12 Education – Basic Education” that is called “basic education funding” and this is the line item that Corbett usually refers to when he claims that he has simply returned state education funding to pre-stimulus amounts. But there are many, many other line items in the section of the state budget entitled “PK-12 Education – Basic Education” (things like transportation, early intervention, special education, etc.) that Corbett has reduced or eliminated . So when he refers to his "basic education spending" in claims that he is not reducing state funding for PK-12 education, he is trying to trick the public into believing that he is referring to ALL state funding for PK- 12 education rather than just one line item. The PSEA reports that in February, Corbett admitted as much during a visit to Mt. Joy, PA:
"The governor was asked if the $429 million in lost state funding for schools compared to last year, meant he “cut education funding the state used to give?”
He responded: “We reduced education if you a take a look at it as a whole. But it wasn’t $800 million. … and if you listen to my words, I always talk about the basic education funding formula,” he said, also referred to as the basic education subsidy."
I am glad you are taking the Governor's numbers to task. The stimulus is not to blame for our current school funding catastrophes. In 2007-2008 state education funding for PK-12 was $9.28 billion. In 2008-09, state funding for PK-12 education was $9.9 billion. Last year it was $9.09 billion. So PK-12 education funding BEFORE THE STIMULUS money (which was distributed to the states for the 2009-10 school year) was actually over $800 million more than last year's funding. Corbett's office is not being truthful---to say the least. The budget docs are here: ttp://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/past_budgets/4571.
Really interesting piece. I'm cheered by this seeming turn of events, and I will do my part to see it continues!
Roddy or no Roddy, a quick look at Corbett's top eduction priorities suggests that all this budget talk is not the core issue. Corbett supports vouchers, charters school, tax credits to businesses that donate to schools and a harsher grading system for teachers. By gutting the public education system in places like Pittsburgh, Philly, etc., Corbett makes many of us public school parents feel more vulnerable and helpless. But we DO have another choice: keep fighting for the public schools we know were working and re-elect someone else for Governor in 2014. Here's a good run down of Corbett's core platform on education: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/12/t…
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