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HARRISBURG (September 6, 2017) – Some House Republican lawmakers are considering plans that would raid special budget funds and impose a 6.5 percent across-the-board spending cut as alternatives to raising the revenues necessary to fund the state budget most of them voted for in June. A 6.5 percent across-the-board spending cut would really amount to a 12 percent cut to basic education funding in order to balance the state budget, because there is a long list of items in the budget that cannot be cut at all.
Dolores McCracken, president of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, issued the following statement today on this news.
“It’s time to stop playing games and get the budget done. Budget gimmicks and across-the-board cuts aren’t responsible ideas. Every day we waste means we’re another day closer to cutting school funding.
“It’s shocking that any elected official would even suggest that cutting nearly $1 billion from public schools is a good idea. But that’s exactly what some House Republicans are saying by proposing what will be a nearly $1 billion cut to basic education funding.
“House Republicans need to know who is going to pay for this, and I can tell them who that is right now. Pennsylvania’s kids will pay – in lost teachers, lost learning opportunities, and larger class sizes. We know this for a fact, because we’ve lived through a nearly $1 billion state funding cut before, and our public schools still haven’t recovered from it.
“These proposals are irresponsible, shortsighted, and a clear abdication of responsibility from the people Pennsylvanians have elected to make decisions for them. House Republicans need to get serious, come back to work, and find a way to pay for the state budget that most of them voted for in June. The students who learn in our public schools deserve better than this.”
McCracken is a paraprofessional in the Council Rock School District. An affiliate of the National Education Association, PSEA represents approximately 180,000 future, active and retired teachers and school employees, and health care workers in Pennsylvania.