PA Budget - Enough Funds For Education? - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

PA Budget - Enough Funds For Education?

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With lawmakers looking on, Governor Tom Corbett signed a 28.4 billion dollar budget into law. It's on time, with no tax hike and it boosts education funding to nearly 11 billion dollars.

At the signing ceremony Governor Corbett said, "This budget once again places education as our highest priority, accounting for 41 cents of every state dollar. With this budget we will increase spending on basic education by an additional 122 and a half million dollars including money for distressed schools."

In the Millcreek School District, where budget troubles forced cuts and school closings...it's a little more than expected.  Superintendent Bill Hall said, "Well anytime you can get a little bit more than expected it's good news and it's a little bit more about 37 thousand and that's good news." 

Hall says the money will be applied to the general fund to restore cuts, but that it's clearly not enough money to keep a building open.  He'll sit down with the school board to decide the first priority for the unexpected extra funds.

The Erie School District expected a one million dollar increase over last year and will see an extra 126 thousand on top of that.  Erie School District Superintendent Jay Badams said, "Obviously we wish it was more, there were proposals from the democrats that called for significantly more but that didn't come to fruition...it's just all about who has control in the house and senate right now."

Senator Sean Wiley voted against the plan, saying "I cannot justify a vote in favor of a budget that does not responsibly and adequately fund the education of the youth in this commonwealth."

Superintendents though hope it the extra funds, although modest are the start of a trend.

Bill Hall said, "I'm sure it's hard to make it all up at once...but hopefully it's going in the right direction and we'll restore more money in the coming years." 

Badams added, "We've done all the belt tightening we can do and we're going to be looking to Harrisburg for more in future years I'm sure."

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