MEMO: Republican Budget Cuts $95 Million From Schools

December 28, 2015

SUBJECT: Republican Budget Cuts $95 Million From Schools
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Secretary John Hanger
DATE: December 28, 2015

The Republican budget is another display of fiscal irresponsibility that will lead to a $95 million cut to local schools.

The Republican budget underfunds education and uses gimmicks that will actually lead to a $95 million cut in funding for our schools. Republicans continue to refuse to adequately fund Pre-K through 12 education and their budget fails to fund over $305 million in school construction reimbursements. Instead they propose to pay for school construction by issuing billions in debt.

However, because the Republican budget fails to take any meaningful steps to fix Pennsylvania’s structural budget deficit – which has already led to five credit downgrades – the commonwealth will be unable to issue debt to fund school construction.

The Republican’s failure to provide school construction funding to local school districts and the commonwealth’s inability to responsibly issue debt will lead to a direct cost to the school districts, which will wipe out any marginal funding increases for local school districts.

This means that their budget is an effective $95 million cut to school districts after years of cuts under previous Republican budgets.

The Republican budget continues the trend of not only underfunding our schools but also of fiscally irresponsible budgets that have led to massive structural deficits and multiple credit downgrades. Now those decisions will have a direct impact on our ability to pay our bills and issue debt.

For the first time in years, we have an opportunity to fund our schools and fix the structural deficit, but Republican leaders refused to even bring the compromise budget to a vote. The Republican budget will lead to more struggles for local schools and more credit downgrades. It’s time to change the status quo.

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