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Letters to the Herald

Education Funding: The time is now


Governor Shapiro proposed a budget starting to respond to the PA Supreme Court ruling stating that PA schools are drastically underfunded. Democratic leadership in the PA House introduced a memorandum seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would create a system of education funding that meets the standards of the court decision over seven years. Currently, PA is sitting on a multibillion-dollar rainy day fund.

While the GOP says we can’t afford to fund education, the Republican leadership in the PA Senate voted to strip away a large portion of available funding. On May 8, Senate Bill 269 passed the Senate in a 36-14 vote over the objections of Democratic leaders. Eight Democrats broke ranks to back the GOP proposal.

It would reduce the Personal Income Tax (PIT) rate from 3.07% to 2.8%. That amounts to just a .27% tax decrease, lowering the income tax to its pre-2004 rate. It would also eliminate a 4.4% tax on electric bills.

Together this adds up to $3 billion in lost revenue at a time when the GOP says we can’t afford to fund education.

While most legislation moves through the legislature very slowly, this rushed to a vote in less than 24 hours.

There are powerful forces working to privatize education and undermine public education, funded in large part by Jeffrey Yass, Pennsylvania’s richest man and largest political donor.

Public education is the backbone of democracy. Defend and fund our public schools.

Melody Katz, POWER Interfaith Bucks County

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