Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Gov. Corbett’s Proposed Budget Indicates -9.69% Change in State Public Education Funding for T/E School District

The dust has begun to settle on Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget. Although most areas of government were not exempt from cuts, the decrease state funding to higher education and school districts may have the greatest effect on local residents.

In reviewing the governor’s budget proposal for public school funding, Sen. Andy Dinniman offered the school districts current state funding vs the proposed funding.

The table below from Dinniman’s website ( is interesting because it focuses specifically on the state funding to our local school districts, including TESD. The statistics indicate the current funding for public education versus the funding contained in the governor’s proposed budget. The decrease in state funding ranges from $446,269 in the Great Valley School District to Downingtown School District’s $2.9 million. The funding loss is due to Corbett’s proposed elimination of the Accountability Block Grant and Education Assistance programs.

Although Tredyffrin Easttown School District is grateful not to be in the $2 million + budget cut category of West Chester and Downingtown school districts, we are far from exempt. According to the table below, TESD proposed decrease in state funding equates to an approximate -9.69% change or $479,569.

“Governor Corbett’s proposal for basic education will be disastrous for our Commonwealth’s public schools,” Dinniman said. “Full-day kindergarten classes, reduced class sizes and after school tutoring programs are at risk of elimination.”

“The difficulty is that while the governor can wave the flag and say, ‘We’re not raising taxes,’ he has written a script that will mean significant local property tax increases and much heavier burden on local taxpayers, and that is indeed troubling,” Dinniman said.

It will be curious to see if Corbett’s significant budget cuts to public education enters in to the discussion at tonight’s TESD Finance Committee meeting. The Finance Committee is at 7:30 PM in the Tredyffrin/Easttown Administration Office (TEAO) at 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1700 in Wayne. Click here for the Finance Committee agenda.

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  1. TE will lose less than a half-percent of their revenue. We’ve all had to deal with a half-percent loss in our family budget at one time or another. What’s the big deal?

    Dinneman is playing the typical politician’s game. He whines about the cuts, but offers no alternative.

  2. The TESD budget had made assumptions about state funding, so the net impact to the approved preliminary budget is different from this $479,569.

    Detail is provided on page 59 of the Finance Committee Agenda materials. The big difference is:
    “Reduction of Social Security Reimbursement from 50% to 15% (aid ratio) for employees hired after 7/1/94
    Estimated $1.10M in revenue would be lost”

    I hope that this will indeed be discussed tonight and the numbers reconciled

  3. Corbett may say he’s holding the line on taxes; but it will create a greater increase in our local RE taxes which will cause a greater hardship for seniors.

    Any word from Warren about this; hmmmm.

    1. Libby — the following from from Kampf’s website re Corbett’s budget:

      Kampf Praises Corbett Budget for Avoiding Tax Hikes
      Rep Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) praised Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget proposal for balancing the state’s budget without raising taxes.

      “This is a tough but honest budget. It recognizes that taxes cannot be raised without pulling money from the private sector and hobbling an economy only now showing some signs of life. It’s now up to the legislature to face this necessary austerity as we analyze what the governor has given us. The state’s long, unacceptable and unendurable spending binge is over.”

  4. I guess my question for everyone who believes the Governor is truly cutting billions from education spending is this: Where do you believe that money is coming from?

    Comparing STATE dollars committed to basic education funding, the Governor is actually proposing an increase.

    The “cut” comes in removing the FEDERAL stimulus and other one-time monies that were in last year’s education budget — money the state never had on its own and doesn’t have today.

    Perhaps that is what an “honest” budget looks like — and, yes, it is “tough” for all of us to swallow b/c no one likes to see funding decrease, but they also don’t like to see multi-billion tax increases.

    Perhaps this budget won’t force higher local property taxes if we, as citizens, stand up to the teachers’ union and force some concessions — and also stand up to the school board to make them do the same.

  5. Perhaps more important than state funding for public schools are the state’s unfunded mandates. If Corbett eliminates those as well we could actually see an improvement in our district’s fiscal situation.

    And of course there’s always the matter of the powerful state union, which the government could kick out of bed. Note the company PA keeps as a state that requires layoffs by seniority. Busting the union could make up for everything else the state might cut.

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