Scott Wagner and Chairman Val DiGiorgio Denounce Tom Wolf’s Proposed $1 Billion In Cuts To Education

At a press conference in Pittsburgh earlier today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner and Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio denounced Governor Wolf’s proposal to cut $1 billion in funding from 362 school districts.

“Governor Wolf believes  it’s ok to take education dollars meant for three quarters of our school districts and use them to try reward the people who vote for him,” said Scott Wagner. “Rather than rolling up his sleeves and instituting the measures necessary to put more money into the classrooms in areas like Philadelphia, he wants to pass the burden of funding the City’s schools to families in other regions of the commonwealth. That’s wrong.  By calling for the largest ever cut for 362 Pennsylvania school districts, Governor Wolf has now revealed his poor regard for our kids, and  that for him, accountability, reform, and working to ensure that all students have access to a quality education is nothing more than talk.”

At the event, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio announced the state Republican Party was launching www.tomwolfcutsschools.com, a comprehensive website outlining the losers of Tom Wolf’s massive redistribution of school funding.

“This website clearly shows that Tom Wolf only cares about schools districts in counties that help elect him to office or are the home of some of his large special interest constituencies that fuel his campaign coffers,” Chairman DiGiorgio said.

“Gov. Wolf let his true intentions slip when he said he wants to take over $1 billion from over 300 school districts. This drastic move would undo careful bipartisan legislative negotiations that, just a few short years ago, implemented a new education funding formula. Tom Wolf’s rush to undo the bipartisan deal is a back-door way to force billions in tax increases to appease the teachers’ unions.

“The Governor’s massive redistribution of state taxpayer-dollar funded school subsidies puts some of the most rural and most vulnerable schools at the risk of financial ruin, and that is clearly unacceptable.”

BACKGROUND

Governor Wolf recently announced  that he wants to put all basic education money through the state formula adopted in 2016. This would mean deep cuts to the Commonwealth’s school districts, including the following:

  • The Pittsburgh SD would see a $67.9 million basic education cut, representing 42% of its total state allotment.  This money represents funding for 1250 of the 1985 teachers, or 63% of the teacher compliment, many of whom now face layoffs under Governor Wolf’s plan.
  • The Punxsutawney Area School District would see an almost $10 million basic education cut under Wolf’s scheme.  That cut would represent a 62% decrease in their state dollars, leading to a tax increase that would need voter approval as one of the only means to recover from that massive cut.   ​
  • Pleasant Valley School District in Monroe County would see an $11 million basic education cut. This cut would represent a 49% decrease in state monies, leading to program cuts and teacher layoffs.
Today’s press conference comes after Wagner’s running mate, Jeff Bartos, also  criticized the Governor’s new education plan at a town hall meeting in Northampton this past weekend.
###