The Truth About Education Funding

From Scott Petri’s e-mail News

spetri1Under the House Republican education plan, every school district across the state would see an increase in education funding. The claim by Governor Ed Rendell and House Democrat leaders that we are cutting funding for schools is simply untrue.

While the governor’s plan requires a 16 percent income tax increase, our proposal uses a combination of state and federal money to increase school district funding by an average of 11 percent statewide.

The minimum increase is 3 percent. Following is a breakdown of what local school districts would receive under the House Republican plan:

School District Percentage Increase
Centennial 11.9% increase
Central Bucks 13.2% increase
Council Rock 12.6% increase

Yes, these increases are less than what Governor Rendell has proposed, but they are fair and reasonable during these challenging economic times.

The governor’s plan requires a 16 percent income tax increase to pay for it.

That’s irresponsible in a recession.

People simply can’t afford a single cent more in higher taxes.

Unlike the governor’s plan, we use federal stimulus monies to fill holes in the current education budget, as the U.S. Department of Education intended. The governor’s proposal to use stimulus funds plus additional state funds sets us up for a huge budget hole when stimulus funds run out in 2012.

Funding education – both K-12 and higher education – is always a priority, and I believe our budget plan is fair. I am deeply concerned, however, by a recent proposal by House Democrats to eliminate funding for State System schools, community colleges and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. This also appears to be an effort to leverage support for a tax increase the people of Pennsylvania cannot afford.

I firmly believe we can balance the budget, adequately fund schools at all levels, and continue other vital government services without increasing your taxes. I will continue working toward that goal.

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