The state’s largest teachers union is calling for lawmakers to increase funding for public schools and pay for it through heightened fees for drilling and new taxes.
In a report titled “Sounding the Alarm,” the Pennsylvania State Education Association says that years of inadequate and inequitable state funding, coupled with the recent recession, have put Pennsylvania schools at risk of financial distress. After a year in which school districts have increased class sizes and cut jobs, the union says in a report to be released today, the budget proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett would require districts to raise taxes or cut more programs and positions.
The PSEA says the governor’s proposal would cut education funding because it includes no money for a program, referred to as accountability block grants, that pays for full-day kindergarten and other early-childhood initiatives. School districts have access to their shares of $100 million for the program this year, but because the money was appropriated the previous year, the administration argues it is not part of the current budget and cannot be considered a reduction.