Time is running out for students across Pennsylvania. Less than two weeks remain for state lawmakers to begin to undo the damage they have done with deep funding cuts to schools. A House budget plan leaves nearly 85 percent of those cuts in place, doing little to hire back nurses and counselors or to restore music, arts, and sports programs that districts have been forced to cut.
Senate leaders and Gov. Corbett’s administration have signaled a willingness to delay a business tax cut next year. That is welcome news. Keeping the tax rate at 2012 levels could raise $360 million to restore some of the deepest school cuts. In response to critics, Sen. Jake Corman asks: “Is that [tax] phaseout more important than education dollars?”
Schools across Pennsylvania have been forced to absorb state funding cuts, but the students from the poorest school districts have gotten the worst of it. The students with the greatest challenges should not be asked to sacrifice more to pay for a new round of tax cuts for profitable corporations.
Delaying an unaffordable business tax cut is the fiscally responsible thing to do and the best way to restore critical educational opportunities for our children.
Lawrence A. Feinberg
Co-chair, Keystone State Education Coalition
Haverford Township School Board, Delaware County