Usually, I only write about poetry on this blog, but I want to take some time today to address the steep cuts in education Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is proposing. You can find details about the budget by clicking here. But basically, he wants to cut state funding in half for state-owned universities or state-affiliated universities. This constitutes a lot of major schools across the state, including Kutztown, West Chester University, Penn State, Temple, Pitt, and dozens of others.
Yes, it is true that Corbett’s budget as stands would not raise taxes, but at what cost? Is slashing education the way to go here? If he is serious about reducing the deficit, controlling spending, and not raising taxes, then why not tax the gas companies now drilling across our state?
This issue is so personal to me because I benefited from the state university system. I did my undergraduate work at West Chester University and had a stellar education. My class sizes, especially my creative writing courses, were no larger than 15-20 students. Furthermore, I was able to attend college because as a kid from a middle-class family, the state schools were my best options in terms of affordability. I am greatly concerned that if this budget passes as is, it will lead to a spike in class sizes and in tuition. It will cut down on the one-on-one time students can have with instructors, and it will also make college far less attainable for low-income and middle-class families.
There is a letter writing campaign going on now to dissuade those in Harrisburg from passing this budget as is. I wrote a letter to Gov. Corbett last night. His contact info can be found by clicking here.