Tom Corbett cut education spending by $1 billion, or so the Wolf Campaign has been alleging in a series of campaign ads. Our local news outlet, The Tioga Freedomist, recently did an in depth study of these claims and found that the numbers do not add up. Read the excerpt of the report, then be sure to read the full report at TiogaFreedomist.com
Paul Gordon Collier
We at the Tioga Freedomist decided to look into claims by Democrats that Governor Tom Corbett has dramatically cut education spending in Pennsylvania, as well as claims by the Governor’s office that, in point of fact, he’s spending at record levels. This is not a commentary about whether Governor Corbett is spending enough money on public education or not, only on the claims made by both sides.
There are a lot of numbers and details involved which could make this report very ‘wonkish’. We realize we have a lot of readers who have no great desire to wade through statistics and charts to try to figure out what a report is actually saying. In that spirit, we are going to begin our report in a non-traditional way, with our findings in simple black and white language, to be followed by those wonkish details for those who want to make sure our claims have a basis in reality.
Claims by the Democrats that the Governor is an education cutter do not align with the facts and figures we investigated. What is true is that the spending on education which school districts directly received (the Basic Education Supplement part of the total PA Department of Education budget) reached its peak in 2010-2011 thanks to f $1.04 billion in Federal Stimulus dollars.
That year, the total Basic Educational Supplemental Budget was $5.77 billion, as compared to $5.35 billion for this current fiscal year and $5.4 billion proposed by the Governor for FY 2014-15.
If we include the Federal Stimulus dollars in the mix then yes, Corbett has cut spending in education. However, to do so would be the equivalent of comparing the total number of touchdown passes by Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick in one year to the total number of touchdowns scored by just Nick Foles the following year.