Corbett has been traveling the state discussing his 2012-13 budget proposal with Pennsylvanians, visiting businesses whose
success employs their neighbors and helps to grow economic opportunities in
their communities. As with any public debate, opponents of the proposed
budget have made several claims that are inaccurate. So, to set the record
straight, here are the top five myths about the proposed budget followed by
#1: Pennsylvania spends more money building prisons than building schools.
In the proposed budget, more than $10.7 billion is dedicated to education in
Pennsylvania. For the first time in ten years, the proposed budget contains
no increases for the Department of Corrections. The budget does include
approximately $600 million in prison construction, $400 million of which was
committed prior to Governor Corbett taking office. This overall amount is
small in comparison to the more than $10 billion the Governor has committed
to investing in education.
#2: The reductions in higher education funding will cause universities to
Schools themselves have shown this not to be true. From 1999 to 2011, Penn
State, Temple, and the University of Pittsburgh received a combined $7.2
billion in state funding. During that same time period, tuition at these
institutions rose an average of 130 percent. The
funding reductions proposed for the state-related and state-owned schools
amount to an approximate 1.5 to 3.8 percent reduction in their overall
operating budgets. These small percentages are something that should be
overcome through cost containment instead of reflexive tuition increases. The
Governor is urging these institutions to examine how they spend their money
instead of balancing their budgets on the backs of students and families.
#3: The proposed budget reduces funding for K-12 education and will force
school districts to raise property taxes.
The more than $9.3 billion in state funding the Governor has proposed for
K-12 education is the highest in the history of Pennsylvania, with every
school district in the commonwealth seeing an increase. Visit investinginpastudents.com to find out how much
Governor Corbett is investing in your kids and find out if your school
district has money in its reserve fund it could use to offset its increasing
costs. Additionally, Governor Corbett, just last year, took action to make
sure you have more say in when, and if, your
property taxes are increased. He signed historic reform that requires
proposed increases to be put on the ballot for residents to decide.
#4: The elimination of cash assistance will mainly hurt children and victims
of domestic abuse.
The primary recipients of cash assistance are single, childless adults and
constitute 1 percent of the overall public assistance population. The
elimination of this program allows the administration to save the state
funded medical assistance program which provides medical services to the same
population. Currently, almost 39 cents of every state taxpayer dollar
supports our public assistance programs, yet costs of the system continue to
escalate faster than our economy and the rate of poverty. We must take steps
now to contain costs or these programs will be jeopardized in the future.
#5: The proposed budget reduces funding for the arts.
Both last year and this year, Governor Corbett protected funding for the arts
in Pennsylvania, investing more than $8 million in arts grants throughout the