Still pushing for responsible state funding
Published June 2011 Voice
As this issue of the Voice went to press, PSEA members and staff were continuing to work hard to persuade state lawmakers not to balance the state budget on the backs of students, public school employees, and Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens.
The House of Representatives voted 109-92 last month to approve a budget that sets spending at $27.3 billion for the 2011-12 fiscal year—the same amount as the budget proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett in March. The governor’s budget calls for $1.2 billion in cuts to basic education funding.
House Bill 1485, the budget proposal approved by the House on May 24, restores $240 million in public school funding, but still cuts nearly $1 billion from public schools.
In addition to public school funding cuts, the House budget plan reduces Gov. Corbett's budget by $471 million for health and human services for women, children, and people with disabilities. It fails to enact a drilling tax on natural gas and leaves untouched a $500 million state revenue surplus.
PSEA President James P. Testerman urged all Association members to continue to pressure the General Assembly to use the revenue surplus to restore the cuts to public school funding.
“Legislators are listening to us,” Testerman said. “They are reading our letters and emails. They are responding to your phone calls and our face-to-face meetings. We need to keep the pressure on.’’
Testerman pointed out that with a $500 million revenue surplus, legislators have the resources on hand to prevent devastating funding cuts to our public schools.
“Legislators know that they should not stash $500 million away in a ‘Rainy Day Fund,’ when it is raining right now in our schools and communities,” Testerman said.
For the latest updates on the state budget, go to www.psea.org.