The fight for education: Corbett vs. Wolf

MGN Online

Mylana Churilla, Staff Reporter

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Education is a major issue covered in any election and it is no different for the appointment of a new governor of Pennsylvania.

In this year’s election both candidates have focused heavily on the education aspect of their campaign.

In fact, according to politicspa.com, education is arguable the most important issue in this entire campaign, even higher than jobs and the economy.

The reason this issue is so heavily focused on is because of the cuts in 2011. In 2011, Governor Tom Corbett cut nearly $ 1 billion from basic education spending all over Pennsylvania. Ever since this came out Corbett has spent the better part of his campaign trying to dispute this claim.

“It has been because the newspapers, back in the first year, put the word ‘cuts’ when it wasn’t cuts. It took us four years to fight back on that and yet, you see Tom Wolf’s ads, they use headlines from the first year.” Corbett told CBS Philadelphia. “They don’t use the stories that the Philadelphia Inquirer has since written that it wasn’t a cut by us; that it actually occurred in the Rendell Administration…the big lie on education would be the number one issue. People are upset at me. They think that I cut education.”

While Corbett might be correct, that the cessation of federal money did leave him with the problem he has done nothing to correct the problem. In fact, he feels the state should not have taken the money to begin with. He has even stated that education spending is the highest this year as it has ever been.

Despite this, there still seems to be a serious problem with education spending if the 20,000 educators that were let go all over the state is anything to go by.

Corbett may not see the problem for doing nothing but the facts stand he still allowed for spending to be cut.

Tom Wolf, however, has promised, as governor, that he will restore the $1 billion dollar cuts to education that Corbett implemented and fix the education issue.

On politicspa.com, Wolf released his plans for his education reform.

Along with restoring the cut backs to education he also plans to eliminate pension double dipping, increase financial and academic oversight and forbid the use of taxpayer money for lobbying.

“Too many of Pennsylvania’s charter schools are failing students and making it more difficult for students in public schools to get a strong education,” Tom Wolf said to politicspa.com. “Too many charter schools – especially our cyber charter schools – are underperforming and failing to provide our children with a high quality education. I will reform policies and strengthen oversight and accountability of the charter school sector while leveraging the effective, innovative teaching tools being developed in our high performing charter schools.”

According to the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Education by 2018, 60 percent of new jobs in Pennsylvania will require a postsecondary education. However, only 43 percent of the populace currently has the qualifications.

In order to fix this, Tom Wolf has promised to offer programs to improve higher education. He has plans to bring veterans and low-income students into higher education schools so that they have a chance to obtain a better living.

Whether this works or not will be seen if, or when, Wolf is elected. Until then, it is up to the public to decide who has the better grasp on how to fix the education issue.

Whether Corbett or Wolf, one thing is for sure; the education cuts need to be fixed.

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