The School District of Philadelphia is not the only the district facing a budget crisis.
School districts throughout the state are forced to cut back because of the recession, rising costs and in large part due to Governor Tom Corbett’s $27 billion-plus budget plan and its proposed reductions to public education.
In Upper Darby, the school district is looking at scaling back its curriculum in the elementary and middle schools and significantly reducing staff to save $4 million.
Parents have expressed outrage over the possibility of the elimination of art, music, library and gym.
In the state capital in Harrisburg the budget crisis is even more severe.
The Harrisburg school district is looking at eliminating kindergarten and all sports programs, bands, clubs and arts program.
Class sizes would go up to 30 students per class in the elementary grades and 35 students per class in high school.
During a meeting with the Journal Register News Company editors and reporters in Norristown last week, Gov. Corbett shifted the blame to local school districts.
He said taxpayers in every district across the state need to look at how the money is being managed by local officials.
It is disingenuous to blame the school district’s money problems on mismanagement by local officials when the state has drastically cut funding to local school districts.
Meanwhile the governor is seeking tax breaks for a multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery planned by Shell Oil Co. in western Pennsylvania that would essentially give Shell $1.7 billion in tax breaks over the next 25 years.
Gov. Corbett signed a pledge not to raises taxes when he campaigned for governor. He is more intent in keeping that pledge than making a commitment to ensure that local school districts receive adequate education funding from the state.