After tax hikes, education funding is the top issue in Pennsylvania’s ongoing budget impasse. Schools advocates keep appearing in the rotunda to decry budget cuts, and that frustrates Republicans, who insist they want to increase schools money, too.
During an education rally, Tim Allwein, the assistant executive director of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, pushed for a 300 million dollar increase to the commonwealth’s basic education subsidy.
He acknowledges budget cuts are spread throughout government this year, but argues education is different.
"School districts affect children. And I think that it’s one thing for the effects to be felt somewhere else in the budget. But we’re talking about kids. We’re talking about our future."
That stance bothers Matthew Brouillette, the president of the conservative Commonwealth Foundation.
"The notion that only increasing spending by 11 percent, as the Senate Republicans have proposed, is somehow devastating—I don’t think they’re going to get a whole lot of sympathy from people who are struggling today."
Governor Rendell says said he’ll compromise on any issue but education and health care spending, and continues to push for an increased schools budget.