Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Corbett's budget: No new taxes, steep cuts in education

Corbett’s budget: No new taxes, steep cuts in education
In education, Corbett's budget would wipe out nearly $550 million in basic education funding - a 10 percent cut from this year - and another $650 million for higher education.
The four so-called "state-related" universities, including Temple and Lincoln, also would also take a big hit, losing more than 50 percent of their state funding. The state system of higher education, which includes the state universities, also would see its funding cut in half.
To offset the pain of cuts to public schools, the governor is asking school districts to reopen their collective bargaining agreements to push for a one-year salary freeze on all school district personnel, from superintendents to teachers. The administration believes that would save an estimated $400 million.
Corbett also is asking school districts to get voter approval on budgets that would raise property taxes above the rate of inflation; and explore merit-based pay systems and changes to tenure requirements.
And in keeping with his campaign promise to support school vouchers and charter schools, Corbett's budget also would make funding available for students in poorly performing districts to enroll in private schools.


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