Mikhail Zinshteyn says Tom Corbett made a choice to cut more aid to poor school districts than wealthy school districts:
After looking at budgeting priorities of various states, Baker noticed that more federal funding fed into short comes in dollar streams allocated to wealthier districts than poor districts. Once Pennsylvania’s share of the $48.3 billion states received in 2009 through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) dried up, more money was cut from poorer districts while wealthier ones saw no change in state contributions to their education costs. “They’ve hammered the poor districts with [a] warped shell game,” he said.
By analogy, Baker offered this explanation to The American Independent:
For example, let’s say I have a family assistance program, where poor families get a total allocation of $800 per family per year for food assistance, and rich families still get $100 (even though they don’t need it.) Let’s say we’ve only got two families in the system, one rich and one poor. Because of a recession, my state funding is $200 short this year, but the feds give me a stimulus of $200 to replace it. I could use my $700 in state money for the poor family, and given $100 each in federal money to each family. I’ve still honored my formula which is intended to yield $800 for the poor family and $100 for the rich one.
But, what [Corbett] did was to say that the poor family got $200 in [federal] money and $600 in state money and the rich family got $100 in state money. So, when the fed money is gone, the rich family still gets $100 in state money and the poor family gets $600 in state money – but $200 less than the previous year.
The next twist was to give the rich family $102 in state money the next year, and give the poor family $612 the next year, so each got a 2% increase in state money, but the rich family actually gets a $2 increase and the poor family gets a $188 cut in total funding.