Letter | Corbett’s budget doesn’t fully address pre-K funding

June 3, 2014 

I agree with Thomas J. Wilson (“Support Corbett’s pre-K funding plan,” May 26) on the need for increased state support for early education. Unfortunately, I can’t agree that supporting Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget proposal will accomplish that.

First, let’s remember why many schools and organizations in Pennsylvania were forced to reduce or even eliminate pre-kindergarten and other early learning programs: the $1 billion Gov. Corbett cut from education during his first year in office, cuts he’s left in place for three years. A short-term bump in pre-K funding in his election year budget proposal doesn’t convince me education has become a priority for him.

On a more practical note, Gov. Corbett has created such a budget mess that it’s highly unlikely he’ll keep his election year funding promises anyway. He’s already admitted publicly that he probably can’t pay for the college scholarship program he’s been promising. How long before he has to admit that his proposed early education “increases” aren’t going to happen this year, either?

Instead of focusing on short-term, election year “increases” funded by one-time revenue gimmicks — which have little chance of happening anyway — we should instead focus on long-term strategies for raising sustainable revenues that allow us to make robust early-education investments a long-term budget priority. Interested residents can find out more about how that can be done by visiting www.pahouse.com and clicking on the “House Democratic Priorities” link near the top of the page.

Mike Hanna Lock Haven The writer is state representative for the 76th district.

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