PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The General Assembly approved a nearly $27.2 billion state spending plan that holds the line on taxes and cuts government spending by over a billion dollars.
But where Governor Corbett and Republicans made their cuts has sparked controversy, especially among educators who say children are being unfairly targeted.
“If we were a family, I would hope that we would take care of our children first,” says Mardi Isler of the Pittsburgh Association for the Eduction of Young Children.
Isler says the 60 percent cut in accountability grants used to fund kindergartens will hurt children.
“We know that they’re districts that have already voted to cut out full-day kindergarten,” says Isler.
For Pittsburgh schools, those dollars support pre-k programs for the most vulnerable.
“In Pittsburgh, we will realize 400 children, 65 staff, a number of classrooms will close,” says Isler.
The combination of all those cuts will take a toll.
“It will have a very negative impact,” says Isler. “Child care was also cut. Child care was cut $48 million.”
Those weren’t the only education-related cuts.
Public schools are hit with cuts from several hundred thousand dollars to nearly $26 million in Pittsburgh.
The 14 state related universities just announced a 7.5 percent tuition hike to counter a 19 percent cut in state funds.