Educators Say Corbett Funding Needs Formula
13, 2014- Tom Joseph
Education advocates say Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed funding of a $241 million
education block grant is a significant dollar amount, but they still question
whether it is the best way to use the money.
Gobreski, executive director of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, says it
remains to be seen what conditions are attached to the one-year Ready to Learn
grant program and whether or not districts can use the money for the most
we don't have a funding formula," Gobreski stresses, "the big
question is going to be does that drive out money to where it's needed, the
school districts that are really struggling to be able to meet the needs of
kids right now, and are these the right programs to focus on?"
says more important than new funding is to restore what was lost through nearly
$1 billion in cuts to public schools.
points out districts haven't yet recovered from the program cuts that were
says there is also some good news in a $20 million increase in special
education funding, which had been flat for more than five years.
Legislature formed a commission to study the issue of special education funding
and has made a set of recommendations," she says. "And I think the
important point there is that when legislators lead, we can start actually
taking positive steps to address some of these issues."
adds while the governor's education-funding proposal this year marks a major
improvement from the past several years, the money is only a one-time grant,
not an ongoing increase and not being directed where it is needed.
we aren't going forward on basic education funding, we're going
backwards," she maintains, "because it means we have to use the same
pot of dollars for programs that have increased costs, which means we have to
cut somewhere else to keep up."