Vice President Joe Biden has famously said, “don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” Unfortunately, the budget Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law—that maintains nearly 81% of the $1 billion in cuts he imposed in 2011 and 2012—demonstrates that supporting Pennsylvania’s youth is simply not among his values or priorities. This budget of skewed priorities has caused the Commonwealth to become a national embarrassment as Governor Corbett’s lack of leadership has placed politics over pupils and has unfairly shifted the burden and blame from the state to the city.
Two months ago, I wrote an op-ed that laid out some commonsense and sustainable solutions to Pennsylvania’s education funding crisis. I continue to believe that the long-term solutions to this crisis lay in those ideas, but in order to begin to right the ship, we must first align our priorities in a manner that puts the education of America’s children first.
By blaming Philadelphia for its financial woes, Governor Corbett fails to acknowledge certain truths that have led the city into a cycle of begging for money year after year. Governor Corbett and his right-wing Republican allies in the legislature fail to remember that Harrisburg took control of Philadelphia Schools in 2002.