Tom Wolf takes over as governor next week, and he’ll replace a man who presided over substantial budget cuts to state education from elementary schools all the way to colleges. The total amount of money for public education in Pennsylvania fell by $1 billion during Tom Corbett’s tenure.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s education crisis is particularly acute, with shortfall after shortfall the last several years and the closing of over 30 schools since 2012. In 2014, weeks before the gubernatorial election, the government-appointed School Reform Commission canceled its contract with Philly teachers, ending their health care plans. Teachers and students responded with protests in Philly and Harrisburg.
Wolf has said he wants to abolish the SRC and wants a fair-funding formula that would increase state aid to schools from 32 percent to 50 percent of their budgets, but mainly battered Corbett’s education cuts during his campaign.
What will the future hold? What will Wolf do? Billy Penn talked to several area teachers and gathered a wish list for the new governor’s consideration.
Larissa Pahomov, Science Leadership Academy, wants autonomy for Philly schools