On the second stop on the Wagner-Bartos ticket’s town-hall tour of Pennsylvania, the GOP candidates went after Governor Tom Wolf’s hypocrisy on education. Wolf, a strong ally of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, claims to be a champion of the public education system, but his recent legislative actions tell voters otherwise.
In June 2016, Governor Wolf signed a bill from the Pennsylvania General Assembly that enacted a new formula for education funding. The new approach disproportionately benefited school districts in the eastern half of the Commonwealth, rewarding growing and lower income districts with new funds computed through the formula. The intention of the legislation was not to push the entirety of Pennsylvania’s funding resources for public education through this formula, as Governor Wolf knew at the time, but the Governor is now proposing just that. Governor Wolf is now fully committed to a formula-based dispensation of Pennsylvania’s education dollars. Rather than a gradual increase in funding and use of the formula, Governor Wolf proposed that all funding immediately be shifted to the fair formula and distributed as such.
Although the buzzwords ‘fair funding,’ and ‘formula’ may sound appealing at first glance, this new proposal would harm a great deal of Pennsylvania school districts. Wolf’s plan would heavily re-distribute funds from rural school districts, and leave the children in these districts who rely on these funds at the will of Governor Wolf and his allies’ left-wing agenda, which does not truly seek a fair proportion of education funding and does not care to see rural school districts flourish. To be exact, the Governor’s proposal would strip rural school districts, predominantly in Western Pennsylvania, of $1 billion in education funds for 362 school districts.
As Bartos says, this change by Wolf is an ironic policy move by a man who ran for Governor on the promise of championing public education.
Watch Lieutenant Governor candidate Jeff Bartos tear into Governor Wolf’s devastating education proposal here: