Corman Rejects Governor’s Claims on Education Spending

Bellefonte – Governor Rendell’s claims that school districts will be burdened by spending cuts proposed in a Senate Republican passed budget, are another attempt to gain support for his tax increases, according to Sen. Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte).

Corman, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, took issue with the Governor’s statements today in Bellefonte that school districts would be forced to cut services or raise property taxes if Senate Bill 850 is signed into law.

“Right now, the Commonwealth is facing the toughest economic climate in decades,” said Corman. “Although we have to make cuts in spending to close the current $3.2 billion revenue shortfall, we recognize how important education is to our future and our economy. That is why we have prioritized our investment in schools.”

Under Senate Bill 850, school districts would see an average increase of 11.6 percent over 2008-09 levels with the combination of state and federal funds.

“While everyone would like to see the levels of increase in education funding proposed by the Governor, our residents and communities simply cannot carry on that level of spending,” Corman said. “This is a difficult time for everyone, and that also includes our farmers and small businesses. The choice we have to make is whether we can continue to put the burden on our residents, farmers and small businesses, or do we cut spending and live within our means.”

“Our focus remains on finding ways to provide the resources and support schools need to ensure that our children have a high quality education. And more money does not necessarily mean better results,” said Corman. “In fact, some of our highest academic performing school districts in the Commonwealth are the ones who currently receive the least amount of state funding.”

Corman strongly reiterated his opposition to Rendell’s plan to raise the personal income tax on Pennsylvania families by 16 percent, and expressed skepticism that the tax increase would be temporary.

“You simply cannot tax and spend your way out of a recession,” Corman said. “Governor Rendell is running up a huge bill that we will be paying for long after he leaves office. I am not willing to mortgage our future through higher spending and taxes.”

Corman urged the governor to work with legislators on the development of a fiscally responsible budget, rather than spending his time traveling across the Commonwealth in an attempt to drum up support for a personal income tax increase.

“Senate Bill 850 actually increases state and federal funding to Pennsylvania’s school districts,” Corman said. “Once again the governor is touring the state and trying to scare the public into accepting increased spending and broad new taxes. That will do nothing in the way of advancing debate on how to address our budget shortfall.”

Anna Fitzsimmons
Phone: (717) 787-1377