What You’re Getting Instead of a Fracking Tax

Instead of taxing fracking like every other state, Tom Corbett thinks it’s a better idea to do this stuff: With a 6-2 vote before a sparse crowd, the Bethlehem Area School Board gave its final blessing Monday to eliminate 175 jobs, slash about 40 high school electives, pare down preschool offerings and end full-day kindergarten [...]

Education Cuts vs. Not Taxing Horse Shoes

From Sharon Ward, here are some tax expenditures that Tom Corbett thinks have a stronger claim to taxpayer dollars than education: Pennsylvania’s sales tax, riddled with exemptions that make little sense, is another candidate for reform. Do we really need to exempt helicopters or horse-shoeing from the sales tax? Then there are the countless inconsistencies. [...]

Tom Corbett Doesn’t Have to Cut Education to Balance the Budget

Here’s a good chart from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center showing that Tom Corbett doesn’t have to make any cuts if he doesn’t want to: Usually when partisans of either side talk about cutting “waste, fraud and abuse” to balance the budget, it’s not really the case that you can erase a deficit only [...]

Where the Waste Is, Cont’d.

Joe Mandak at the AP says Jack Wagner is looking for the actual waste in the PA budget: The key numbers are these: Pennsylvania’s inmate population grew more than six-fold from about 8,200 in 1980 to about 51,500 last year while spending per inmate over the same period has increased from roughly $11,400 to more [...]

Who to Blame for Education Cuts

If you want to get into the minutiae of the fights over school budget cuts in Easton and Allentown, I recommend adding Noel Jones’ Neighbors of Easton and Rich Wilkins’ new blog Broad and Pennsylvania to your daily reading. I’d like to cover this stuff, but there’s just not enough hours in the day. For [...]

Student Organizing

It’s been awesome to see college students not taking Tom Corbett’s education cuts lying down. There have been a few recent actions that made me hopeful that young people are starting to wake up to the reality that their economic interests diverge sharply from those of the tea people. To put it bluntly, if the [...]

MuniCon is the Answer to Tom Corbett’s Political Woes

I have a column up at Patch on why Tom Corbett needs to follow Chris Christie’s lead in promoting municipal consolidation. Here’s a good example of my point: The district cited by Baker, tiny Susquehanna Community School District, was recognized for posting the greatest gains of any district in reading and math test scores from [...]