Harrisburg, June 29, 2011 – While disappointed that more state dollars were not restored to local school districts, Sen. Jim Brewster today said the additional state dollars earmarked in the final state spending plan should help local schools make ends meet this year.
“While I readily admit that it was a difficult state budget to balance, I remain disappointed that our governor and majority Republicans insisted on cutting nearly a billion dollars in school subsidies,” Brewster said. “To me, it is unconscionable for Harrisburg to sit on a $700 million dollar surplus while it shortchanges our local schools. This will force school boards to raise local property taxes, furlough teachers and cut vital educational programs.
In his March, budget address, Gov. Corbett proposed cutting statewide school district funding by $1.1 billion. Pressed by Democrats, state lawmakers restored approximately $200 million in the final budget agreement. Brewster said the state could have raised additional resources to restore even more educational dollars.
“This budget should have included impact fees on the drilling companies. My legislation calls for a seven percent impact fee, in which 50 percent of the revenue would go directly towards funding public education.”
Brewster praised the Democrats for their work trying to restore some of the deep cuts made to the school districts.
“My fellow Democrats and I worked hard to get this increased funding for our public schools,” Brewster said. “I will continue to fight for public education, our students and our taxpayers.”
The following is a breakdown of state support (restored money over what Corbett proposed in parenthesis) for local schools:
- Allegheny Valley — $2.275 million ($163,106)
- Burrell — $5.478 million ($195,976)
- Clairton City — $6.752 million ($526,117)
- Deer Lakes — $5.651 million ($417,330)
- Duquesne City — $8.502 million ($2.82 million)
- East Allegheny — $5.964 million ($159,369)
- Elizabeth Forward — $8,783 million ($633,097)
- Gateway — $6.840 million ($466,187)
- Highlands — $10.676 million ($324,132)
- Kiski Area — $14,956 million ($577,820)
- McKeesport Area — $22.978 million ($1.47 million)
- New Kensington-Arnold — $10.948 million ($752,877)
- Penn-Trafford — $13.525 million ($762,875)
- Plum Borough — $12.260 million ($832,534)
- South Allegheny — $9.198 million ($465,825)
- Woodland Hills — $13.778 million ($650,799)
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