Harrisburg, PA — Commonwealth Foundation president and CEO Matthew Brouillette continues to follow Gov. Ed Rendell’s taxpayer-funded bus campaign into the northeastern part of the state today. Today’s “Tax You More Bus Tour” will make stops in Lehigh, Monroe, and Luzerne counties, where Brouillette will continue to provide local communities and the media with the truth about public school funding and spending in Pennsylvania.
“The half-truths and inaccuracies presented as fact by Gov. Rendell’s emissaries are truly troubling,” said Brouillette on his way to Lehigh County. “I’m particularly appalled as a former teacher, coach and school board member that members of the education community are willfully engaging in a misinformation campaign to raise taxes on working Pennsylvanians.”
Brouillette cited numerous examples of how Gov. Rendell’s campaign is presenting half-truths and inaccurate information.
In what world is a more than 11% increase in spending called a ‘decrease’?” asked Brouillette. Under the proposal from the Pennsylvania Senate, school districts would receive funding increases between 3.1% and 32.8%, with an average increase of 11.7%—increasing overall public school spending to its highest level in state history. Yet, Brouillette said, “the governor doesn’t want taxpayers to count the federal stimulus funds, as if they’re coming from some other taxpayer and not us. By ignoring these funds, he makes the claim that we are ‘cutting’ public education funding.”
U.S. Senator Bob Casey has also joined in the misinformation campaign. In his remarks on Monday, the senator declared “They’re cutting a hole out and filling it with federal recovery money, which was not the intent of that money” (emphasis added).
“Apparently Sen. Casey still hasn’t read the legislation he voted for—which said this was precisely one of the purposes of the stimulus money,” Brouillette remarked. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act lists five purposes for the legislation; and number 5 reads, ‘To stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.’ “Now, we know that most in Congress don’t read bills before voting on them, but this was on page 2, Senator. You really couldn’t make it to page 2 ?” asked Brouillette.
Brouillette will hold informal news conferences immediately following each of Rendell’s bus stops across Pennsylvania. Wednesday’s tour stops include:
TIME: 10:30 a.m.
LOCATION: Emmaus High School (East Penn SD), 500 Macungie Ave, Emmaus
TIME: 2 p.m.
LOCATION: Wyoming Area High School, 20 Memorial Street., Exeter
TIME: 4:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Pleasant Valley SD administration building, One School Lane, Broadheadsville
MEDIA NOTE: Check out the Commonwealth Foundation’s education funding media packet and event updates throughout the week. To reach Matt on the road, contact Director of Communications Joe Sterns at 717.671.1901. You can also “follow” Matt at Twitter.com/MattBrouillette.