CLAIRTON (KDKA) — He was touring a high-tech business in Clairton, but with charts and graphs at his side, there was no question Governor Corbett came to defend his budget – especially the cuts in education.

The governor says some school districts need to consider big changes.

“Frankly, I think school districts around the state are going to have to start taking a look at can they continue to exist?” Corbett said. “There should be a consolidation or a merger somewhere.”

The governor admits his plans are not popular. He acknowledges his poll numbers have sunk, but he’s not surprised.

“When you make change, people react to it – some positively, some negatively,” he said. “They’re reacting to a very difficult budget proposal.”

On other topics, Corbett declined to talk about his request that some unionized state employees take a 4-percent pay cut. Others in the state, including his staff and the Legislature, got raises.

“Paul, I’m not going to answer that question,” Corbett said. “We are in negotiations. I promised the unions we would negotiate in good faith. We will negotiate in good faith.”

And the governor defends his plan to not tax Marcellus drilling, but says he believes impact fees to pay for environmental damage are necessary.

As for the governor’s remarks on school mergers, there’s a move afoot by some school districts in our area to do just that.

The Carlynton School District is calling for some other districts to hold informal talks about a merger. The Keystone Oaks School Board agreed to take part in those talks.

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PA Governor Tom Corbett

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