This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
http://www.youtube.com/embed/0cY9X-CKMaI?rel=0 Education funding cuts are front and center once again in a tiff between Pennsylvania’s candidates for governor.
A television attack ad that surfaced last week highlights the issue, which has dogged Republican incumbent Gov. Corbett in the polls for years.
In the spot, a narrator says Corbett "cut nearly a billion dollars from education, forcing school districts to fire 20,000 teachers and staff."
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley denounced the television attack ad and the administration’s opponents.
"For three and a half years they have lied through their teeth," Cawley said. "And shame on us for not being louder and calling it exactly what it is — a damn lie."
The Corbett administration maintains that the money cut from education in 2011 was simply federal stimulus dollars that weren’t replaced because the governor was sticking to a no-tax promise.
But one-third of the money cut was state funding, as the Morning Call has reported.
The roughly $355 million cut had, in years prior, gone into grants for early education and police officers, as well as reimbursements to school districts losing students to charter schools.