Governor Ed Rendell injected some star power into the Pennsylvania budget debates yesterday, appearing alongside comedian and children’s advocate Bill Cosby to promote his education priorities.
Bill Cosby admits he hasn’t been following the details of the 7-week budget impasse, but warned lawmakers against cutting education funding.
"Is it that we don’t like children? I mean, what did these people ever do to you, that you want to cut? These are our children, and we need no more cuts. Everything that happens when you make cuts will show you that you’re working farther and farther away from the paradigm. Away from the example of success. Away."
Though House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin rejects the idea that GOP lawmakers are trying to take money away from schools.
"It’s interesting. In this year’s debate not a single person has talked about or considered cutting education funding."
Republican leaders do want to roll back state education funding, but would use federal stimulus money to increase overall spending levels. Governor Rendell and Democrats want to spend 5.1 billion state dollars and 300 million stimulus dollars on basic education. That’s 187 million dollars more than the GOP’s preferred amount. Rendell argues relying on federal money to increase spending would leave school districts hanging when the stimulus goes away in two years.