Are today’s students being cheated out of the best education possible just to balance the budget? The forthcoming of Pennsylvania relies on the education of the younger generations. Only time can tell whether adolescents, currently being educated, can maintain the high level of learning with the barriers they are going to encounter with the proposed budget. For a positive future in Pennsylvania, the youth must be educated intelligently and properly. Proposed Pennsylvania state educational budget cuts will deny students the opportunity to develop their fullest potential creatively, academically, and socially.
Governor Tom Corbett’s new budget proposal of 27.3 billion dollars will result in significant cuts for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Jaye). The five largest cuts are going to come from educational and environmental protection program funding, the elimination of state jobs, and cuts in economic and community development. Also affected by the budget cut will be the Department of Public Welfare in Mental Health Services, where 1,500 jobs are going to be eliminated (Public Welfare Funding). However, the highest budget cuts will be in the area of public education, with K-12 and higher education funding being reduced by about 1.6 billion dollars. Each school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will receive, on average, a cut of two million dollars. The state has a four billion dollar deficit that benefits from federal stimulus money, which expires in June (Budget Cuts to Education). If the schools do not find a way to get out of this predicament quickly, the education quality taught in the impacted school districts may not be as strong as it once was.
With the massive budget cuts in education, schools will have to reduce or completely eliminate spending which may impact their programs, such as sports, music, arts, and other extra-curricular activities. Between teachers being cut, programs being removed, and taxes being increased, the estimate is about $300 million, or 1,500 dollars per student being eliminated by the budget (Jaye). Even the teachers that do not get laid off will have to suffer a freeze on their salaries for one year. By means of the one billion dollar cut in K-12 education, the Philadelphia Area Schools will be impacted the most, since they have the largest school districts in the state. According to Emily Jaye, in addition to the K through 12 cuts, the fourteen-state owned Pennsylvanian Universities’ funding programs will be cut in half (Jaye). Along with the previous cuts stated, the higher education cuts could result in increasing tuitions, furloughing teachers, and closing some off-site campuses. Lastly, budget cuts are taking away the opportunities for tutoring programs in school, before-and-after school programs, and summer school (Muska 2). As a result of the education cuts and the effects that come with them, three main categories are going to be impacted for students.
The first impact will come in the...