Morning Must Reads: Governor to School Districts: Do As I Say Not As I Do

The Associated Press reports this morning that Governor Corbett believes reductions in access to kindergarten and music or arts programs could be avoided if more school districts would spend down their reserves. This is the same Governor Corbett who left nearly half a billion in revenue unspent in last year's budget and the same Governor arguing that the new budget should again leave unspent hundreds of millions in better-than-expected state tax revenues.

We certainly agree that now is the time for school districts to prudently dip into their reserves to avoid layoffs and property tax hikes. But we also believe that the economy will perform worse than it has to if the Governor gets his way and again has the state collect but not spend hundreds of millions of dollars.

Corbett suggested during a regular appearance on the Dom Giordano Program on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia that school boards that are discussing reducing full-day kindergarten for half-days or getting rid of music or art programs are not using reserves to the extent they could.

"The school districts are making a concerted effort not to go into those reserves," Corbett said, adding that reserves are a rainy day fund that should be used at times like this.

Speaking of the economy, sometime today the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will release new state numbers for unemployment and nonfarm payrolls in April. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia is predicting that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate will remain unchanged in April at 7.5%.

 

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