In What World is a 15.9% Increase Called a Decrease?

Harrisburg, PA — Commonwealth Foundation president and CEO Matthew Brouillette continues to follow Gov. Ed Rendell’s taxpayer-funded bus campaign today.  The  Administration’s “Tax You More Bus Tour” will make a stop in the Manheim Central School District in Lancaster County, where Brouillette will provide 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 Lancaster  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:
More Money for Lancaster County.
  Sixteen school districts in the county would receive an average increase in Basic and Special Education Funding of 15.85%, with a low of only 9.7% and high of 32.8%.  This is additional money over the current year, not less.

It’s the Same Taxpayer.
  Governor Rendell and Education Secretary Zahorchak argue that the state taxpayer isn’t paying enough in school taxes and is responsible for higher local taxes.  Who do they think the state taxpayer is?  He is the same as the local and federal taxpayer.  Any and all taxes come from the same people, just different pockets.  Instead of the back pocket with the school property tax, it would come out of the front pocket with the personal income tax or sales tax.

Stimulus Money is Being Used Appropriately.
  U.S. Senator Bob Casey has also joined in the misinformation campaign, declaring in his remarks on Monday that, “They’re cutting a hole out and filling it with federal recovery money, which was not the intent of that money.”  But 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.’ [emphasis added]  Therefore, the stimulus money is being used precisely for its intended purposes in education, which frees up local school tax dollars to be used in the manner schools deem most appropriate.

Our Economic Recovery Will Fill Future Funding “gaps.”
  Gov. Rendell and President Obama have told us that their economic policies are going to make our economy boom.  In fact, Gov. Rendell is so optimistic that he’s projected a more than 10% increase in tax revenue next year.  Therefore, if there will be a “canyon in education funding,” as the Secretary proclaims , it will only be because of our Governor’s and President’s failure to revive our economy with more government spending.


NOTE: Check out Matt’s “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