Pop Quiz: School Funding -Smoke ’em if you got ’em
In Pennsylvania there is a huge brouhaha about funding in education. The news is full of how Governor Tom Corbett has drastically cut funding to the schools, which like many things in politics is both true and false at the same time. So while the pundits yell back and forth the basic fact that everyone can agree upon is that funding is not being dramatically increased and there are many school districts in the state facing budget crises and that the poorest school districts in the state are being hit the hardest. This is especially true in the city of Philadelphia, where there is a $93 million dollar budget gap. If the district does not find the money they will have to lay off 1,300 workers and according to Mayor Nutter (mayor of Philadelphia) class sizes will swell up to 40 students.
Mayor Nutter when faced with this crisis looked around him, and as there is no shale oil in the city, found cigarettes. He proposed a $2 per pack tax on cigarettes to help fund the district. Earlier this month this proposal was stalled in the state Senate and its fate is uncertain.
I do not expect that there is a complete solution, but September will come and the city will most likely lay off some of the 1,300 workers, class sizes will get larger, and some money from somewhere will be squeezed out of the budget.
Today’s Pop Quiz is a question of politics and policy, why does it seem that there is always a fight for money to fund public schools? What do you see are the leading factors?
The Pop Quiz is a question posed to you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the afternoon (ET).
Featured image 3D Budget Pie Chart – by StockMonkeys.com