There’s a governor’s race in Pennsylvania in 2014, and education is a hot issue as Gov. Tom Corbett seeks re-election. Party primaries take place May 20 and the general election is Nov. 4.
At press time, Corbett, a Republican, and eight Democratic candidates had announced their plans to run.
An October poll conducted by Franklin and Marshall College indicates that 21 percent of respondents feel that the state of schools and school funding is the most important issue in Pennsylvania. The Corbett administration has been blamed for cuts to education funding as well as the 2011 abandonment of a statewide funding formula passed in 2008. But Corbett is not surrendering the issue to Democrats.
In a press conference announcing his bid for re-election, Corbett said, “We have a responsibility to provide a good education to all children in Pennsylvania, but it starts with an honest discussion about education funding.”
The Notebook invited each candidate to submit a biography and asked them to give their positions on state education funding by responding to the following questions in 250 words or less:
The current way of funding schools in Pennsylvania shortchanges too many school districts and the students in those communities, and Gov. Corbett’s more than $1 billion in education cuts have only made the problem worse.
One of my top priorities will be finding new ways to increase funding for preschool services, public schools, and higher education in Pennsylvania.
Since taking office, Gov. Corbett has imposed unacceptable cuts in education funding, and our schools are feeling the impacts of those cuts. As a father with two children in an urban school district, I see the damage these cuts are causing.
Funding of K-12 education in Pennsylvania is a disaster and is facilitating the privatization of our schools. State government should provide at least 50 percent of K-12 funding, instead of the approximately 32 percent it does now. I will increase funding by $1 billion within two years.
I believe that it is past time to restore the funding formula for basic education, in order to ensure that every Pennsylvania student has access to a quality education, regardless of who he or she is or where he or she lives. I would return to a funding formula that accounts for the wealth available in the local community, the cost of instruction, and the number of students being served.