Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (pictured here) has introduced a budget that calls for no new taxes and deep spending cuts. In his Tuesday Budget Address, he said state spending has been spiraling out of control.
“We enter this year more than four billion dollars in debt. For the present, I bring you a budget that has two underlying messages. One, we have to spend less because we have less to spend. Two, we must tax no more because the people have no more to give.”
Corbett said his $27.3 billion plan calls for less spending, less government and more free enterprise. Montgomery County State Representative Kate Harper says he also asked state employees and teachers to voluntarily freeze their salaries for one year, and called for changes in a state law that bars school boards from laying off teachers purely for economic reasons.
“That’s an impediment to balancing your budget by shifting your classes around or whatever. That’s the reason, quite frankly, why music and art always get cut. You’re allowed to stop doing a program and lay off the support and teachers in that area, but you’re not allowed to re-align the class sizes or move people around so that you can be more efficient in class size, and that’s something the governor said he would like to see changed.”
Pennsylvania State Education Association President James Testerman says a proposed billion dollars in public school funding cuts would reverse years of academic gains, and would also force local school boards to eliminate programs that work, and raise local property taxes in order to balance their budgets.