PA-Gov: Corbett Contends He Didn’t Cut Education in New Ad (VIDEO)

It’s been the elephant in the room for a long time now and Governor Corbett is finally addressing it head on.

In the Corbett-Cawley campaign’s latest commercial, the Governor talks straight to the camera in order to refute the belief that he cut the state’s education funding.

“Tom Wolf and his special interests groups have spent millions trying to mislead you that I cut education spending,” Corbett states. “As they say, the numbers don’t lie.”

At this point a voice-over narrator accuses Gov. Rendell of “hiding” his own cuts through stimulus money. Using a chart that doesn’t include the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, they assert Corbett “cleaned up his [Rendell’s] mess”.

“And recently we secured $51 million more to be used exclusively for early childhood development programs,” Corbett concludes. “And now you know the truth.”

In case you didn’t know what “special interests groups” Gov. Corbett was referring to, his campaign made it more clear.

“Secretary Tom Wolf and the public sector union bosses have spent tens of millions of dollars lying about Governor Tom Corbett’s record investment in state education funding,” stated Communications Director Chris Pack. “The undisputable truth is that it was Wolf’s mentor, Ed Rendell, gutted state education funding and replaced it with one-time federal stimulus dollars.  It is a true shame that Secretary Wolf would continue perpetuating the lie when the facts prove that Pennsylvania is spending more on education funding than ever before.”

Did Corbett Cut Education?

Education has consistently polled as the most important issue in this campaign, even higher than jobs and the economy. As a result, the perception that Corbett cut education haunts him to this day.

The argument on this issue is rather complex. While the Governor is correct that the expiration of federal stimulus money left him with this problem, he also made clear he thought the state shouldn’t have taken stimulus funds and never called for new ones. He also pledged back during the 2010 campaign not to raise taxes.

Therefore, Gov. Corbett had no alternative but to reduce school spending in some way for some period of time.

Jeffrey Sheridan, the Wolf campaign press secretary, responded with a statement to PoliticsPA.

“The facts speak for themselves. Tom Corbett took an ax to education and cut $1 billion from our schools. As result of his failed policies, nearly eighty percent of school districts plan to raise property taxes, 27,000 educators were laid off, and class sizes across the state have increased.”

Sheridan also sent a link to the Wolf campaign website’s page on education.

Ultimately, this issue depends greatly on the voter’s own point of view and Governor Corbett is seeking to change Pennsylvanians perceptions that he cut education spending. Whether he succeeds with this ad will have a large effect on whether his re-election effort succeeds.

September 9th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 29 Comments

29 thoughts on “PA-Gov: Corbett Contends He Didn’t Cut Education in New Ad (VIDEO)”

  1. John Gramm says:

    Philadelphia. Philadelphia.
    Pa is more than Philadelphia.
    Philly has always had problems because it votes Democrat consistently.

  2. New_Liberal_Lion says:

    @Unsanctioned R- You got your nerve to talk about ‘ballooning budgets’ as if republicans have nothing to do with that. Furthermore there is no such thing as a ‘radical environmentalist’ as you say. But wait a minute…you really didn’t create that term. It’s from all those think tanks that supply fox and friends not to mention the dummies who run all the right wing blogs and websites who come home at night from earned-income jobs who just happen to vote against their own interests, just like you.

  3. Barricks Einwohner says:

    Governor Corbett did not cut education spending, he just did not fully fund it at the previous level. There is a difference, just like the gasoline tax increase was not exactly a tax increase. Was is not a fee increase? Right? Maybe?

  4. Unsanctioned R says:

    The reason there is a Republican House of Representatives is because the Democrats did such a bang up job running 2 branches of government all by themselves. Everyone crooning over Wolf doesn’t realize PA gov is the 2014 exception to the rule. I for one will be looking forward to the sad faces on MSNBC on election night.

  5. SEPA-DEM says:

    Unsanctioned R on September 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    ” … adjust to the “New Normal” that is the Obama economy, … ” Thanks to the majority in the U.S. Congress, the Obama economy is another, more politically correct, way the Republicans say sequestration.

  6. Lily says:

    He fails to mention that to get this “increase” in education funding, he started including pension contributions in the basic education line item for the first time ever. Maybe in his statistics class, he should talk about creative accounting practices.

  7. Pam says:

    Even Corbett’s non-negative ad has negativity in it. That man cannot just state the facts without insulting someone. Local school districts have raised property taxes and cut programs and thousands of teachers throughout the state. The educational funding formula has been changed under Corbett to benefit richer school districts and poor school districts have suffered. All this has happened, whether or not it’s related to stimulus money. People are looking at their tax bills and recognizing that it happened under Corbett. It’s too late to change the “narrative” and try to turn it around now. Whatever the cause, it happened under Corbett. That’s the bottom line. Pick about typos and taxes all your want. Our property tax bills have gone up and programs and teachers have been cut. Whether he deserves the blame or not, doesn’t really matter. It happened during his tenure.

  8. Unsanctioned R says:

    Robbie, a bit of advice. You’ll be a much happier person if you don’t waste life pointing out anonymous commenters’ online typos.

    Mr. Wentz, Good question. The reason is PA has an entirely different corporate tax structure than other states. Believe me, there are plenty of states with extraction taxes that the business community at large (and the gas extraction community in part) would love to switch tax systems with. But Wolf isn’t proposing reducing any taxes to be more competitive with other states. He wants to layer an extraction tax on top of our net corporate income tax.

    Wolf is from the “if it moves, tax it” school. If you tax something you get less of it, which of course is what the radical environmentalists want. It’s a lazy way liberal politicians feed ballooning budgets because we “need” more revenue. Unfortunately, governments are great at wasting revenue.

    I ask you, how much should we be paying every year per pupil in Philadelphia so that they can read after 18 years? $10,000? We’ll we’re paying about $15,000. And they’re still failing. That’s too much. What we need are reform minded leaders. Tom Wolf is not looking to reform, just tax and spend to keep the teacher’s union happy.

  9. Karl says:

    Also:

    An income of $70k – $90k certainly counts as upper middle class in Potter County. But it certainly doesn’t in Chester, Montgomery, or Allegheny Counties. And outside of Philadelphia, these counties have the highest population.

    Raising taxes on such people may or may not be a good idea. But any conversation about the matter should acknowledge that what is a comfortable income in some places translates into paycheck-to-paycheck in others.

  10. Karl says:

    How are the facts of this issue in any way dependent on a voter’s perception?

    Corbett increased the amount of money devoted to education from the Commonwealth’s own resources every year he was in office.

    The *only* way to have a different interpretation of this fact is if one asserts that stimulus funds should have been given to the states in perpetuity. And I don’t believe Tom Wolfe or anyone else really makes this case.

    This is not a matter of opinion. The issue is not complex, unless one things being able to string together two thoughts is complex. One imagines a site devoted to Pennsylvania politics would at least go to the trouble of trying to explain this to voters rather than just shrugging and saying “This is hard!”

  11. Every other state has a gas severance tax why not us?

  12. Tax Me says:

    So David Diano supports the income tax increase for those of us making between $70,000-$90,000??

    David, are you rich? Is this what you envisioned when you asked for more money for the Philadelphia Public School System?

    Do you agree Corbett didn’t actually cut billions of dollars in education funding?

    Do you believe taxing natural gas is the solution to ever fiscal problem the Commonwealth faces?

    Do you admit Kathleen Kane is a failure as Attorney General?

    Is it possible you are just a liberal Democrat who hates Republicans?

  13. Robbie says:

    Unsanctioned R – You wrote “Very shrewd of Rendell to leave this problem for his predecessor.” Let me teach a brief lesson you must have missed in elementary school. A “predecessor” is a person who came before the subject person. A person who comes after the subject person is called a “successor”. Therefore, a person cannot “leave this problem” for a “predecessor”, but only for a “successor”. My daughter knows the difference, and she is in 4th Grade.

    Rendell’s predecessor was Schweiker (and indirect predecessor was Ridge). It wouldn’t be “shrewd” for Rendell to “leave this problem for his predecessor”, it would be magical, bending all concepts of science, space and time. But maybe that is learned at the same school that teaches intelligent design and creationism while denying evolution and natural selection, and teaches “well, it was cold last winter” while denying climate change. I think that same school taught the world was flat and the Sun circles the Earth a few years ago. And that worked pretty well, right?

  14. Jon-
    “In the coming years, each Pennsylvania household would have to pay an additional $13,000 in taxes to meet our obligation”

    1) over how many years is this $13,000?
    2) not everyone makes the same amount, nor is taxed equally, so dividing the number by the raw number of people (are you including children?) is just bad math that doesn’t match the problem.
    3) you ignore revenue increases from tourism or other sources that could pay for this that won’t come from a $13,000 dipping into everyone’s pocket.
    4) Better fiscal management would also save a lot of money

    Corbett’s plan is to make current employees chip in the money they state promised to when they negotiated the contracts. They already lowered employee salaries by using the pension as compensation. So, by Corbett trying to make the existing employees pay for state’s share of the contribution is NOT reform.

  15. PAINDY1 says:

    SO WHY DID CORBETT AND CHUCKY ZOGBY CUT THE CHARTER SCHOOL REIMBURSEMENTS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS? THIS COST PHILLY QUITE A BIT. PERHAPS CORBETT AND CHUCKY ZOGBY WANT PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO FAIL SO THEIR CYBER CHARTER MAFIA DONORS CAN MAKE MORE PROFITS FROM THESE PUBLIC ASSETS! BOTTOM LINE CORBETT MADE CHUCKY ZOGBY HIS BUDGET CZAR,A PURE PIMP, FOR THE CYBER CHARTER WELFARE QUEENS. CORBETT AND ZOGBY’S ONLY COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC ED IS TO SEE OUR GREAT PA HERITAGE FAIL. FOLLOW THE CYBER CHARTER MONEY!

  16. Tax Me says:

    I for one support Tom Wolf’s plan to raise the income tax on households making over $70,000-90,000 a year. After all, these people are upper middle class and can afford to pay more in taxes. With this additional revenue, we can properly fund the Philadelphia School District. Tom Corbett should be ashamed of himself for failing to further enable the failed district by sending more and more money to fix a problem that has nothing to do with school funding.

  17. Jon says:

    Sorry for the typo, Dave. I don’t spell check on forums I don’t take seriously. I cannot wait for Wolf to take office and tax the hell out of the natural gas industry so Democrats will finally realize it won’t solve all the Commonwealth’s problems. And Pennsylvania isn’t in a pension crisis? Seriously? In the coming years, each Pennsylvania household would have to pay an additional $13,000 in taxes to meet our obligation. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that kind of money laying around. Corbett didnt create that mess. And how is Corbett demonizing public employees? By proposing a pension reform plan that does absolutely nothing to change current and retired employee benefits? But you and your union friends will continue to distort the truth.

  18. Unsanctioned R says:

    What David calls a “fair tax” on gas is what normal people recognize as a special extra tax just for them because we’re jealous of their windfall. It’s unamerican.
    And, I don’t mind paying a premium price per pupil for a premium product, but what comes out of the public schools isn’t worth what we pay.

  19. Jon-
    “He could have chose [sic: chosen] to raise taxes to maintain those funding levels, but you’re the same people who would then be blaming him for that too. You can’t have it both ways.”

    WRONG: He gave sweetheart deals to the oil/gas industry and prevented any chance of them paying a fair tax that could have been used to fund education (a priority). Unlike (mostly false) claims that higher taxes on businesses would drive them to other states, the oil/gas people have to be in PA to get the gas. So, the ONLY people who would be complaining would be the oil/gas executives (who don’t even live in PA).

    Raising taxes/tolls for bridge inspections and repairs is a question of being responsible for the safety of travelers. Inspection/repair is a vital/necessary government function. Replacing signage with lower ton limits is not being responsible.

    We aren’t in a public pension crisis. The pensioners paid into the system as they agreed. The state saved money by deferring salary payments/cost through use of said pension system. The problem/crisis is the mismanagement by the government in failing to meet its obligations by paying in its share all along. Now it is stuck playing catch-up, while the Corbett administration tries to blame the workers.

    What Corbett has been proposing aren’t “reforms” to make thing better. Instead, they are attempts to further burden the workers over the government’s failures and fiscal ineptitude. “Reforms” are supposed to be changes that make things fairer.

  20. Jon says:

    Democrats are using the stimulus to distort the truth. State funding for education is at an all time high. Corbett’s budgets have increased state funding for K-12 education every year he has been in office.

    For those of you who are saying he cut education spending, the federal dollars ran out. He could have chose to raise taxes to maintain those funding levels, but you’re the same people who would then be blaming him for that too. You can’t have it both ways.

    And as for the property tax issue, Pennsylvania, like most other states in the country is in a public pension crisis. You can’t blame Corbett for mistakes that his predecessors, both Republican’s and Democrats made.

    Maybe if Democrats would stop trying to scare current and retired public employees that the Governor is trying to take their pension away, the Commonwealth can enact reforms that will save all of us money in the future.

    Hard to rationalize with ignorance, though.

  21. davis, I aint know what your tawking about character but yeah, the guvenors corbitt put lots more money in to edcaton than any other guv., yes.

  22. Unsanctioned R says:

    Very shrewd of Rendell to leave this problem for his predecessor. Every school district was told to adjust to the “New Normal” that is the Obama economy, but they spent stimulus on all sorts of things they weren’t supposed to.

    It’s a damned miracle (shale miracle) that we can now continue record breaking student spending with so little achievement (PSEA) to show for it.

  23. Basile says:

    The following is an excerpt of one of the best educational articles I have read. It is about poor school districts district that were crippled during the Corbutt years. It was written by a teacher from one of the most affluent school district in Pennsylvania.

    “It is a testament to the competence and devotion of the better part of our country’s teaching corps that, of the 1,001 adult respondents to the 2013 Phi Delta Kappa/​Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, over 70 percent graded their local schools an ‘A’ or ‘B’ — the highest score in the poll’s 45-year history.

    But in general the fact remains: As the culture goes, so go its students. The real reform that needs undertaking will require far greater moral courage than the champions of Common Core and Keystone Exams have grasped.

    It is a barometer of the condition of American schools that nearly 50 percent of teachers leave the classroom for higher climes in their first five years. Not until the visionaries begin by examining that symptom will they ever diagnose the sickness accurately.-David Morris

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2013/12/15/High-risk-school-reform/stories/201312150138#ixzz3CqVydMLd

  24. Observer says:

    “I didn’t do it! It was the DEVIL that cut that $1.3 Billion from state education programs! The Devil, I tell ya!” Lolol… Desperate man resorts to lying about his own record. Nothing positive in it to run on, I guess.

  25. 13thDistrictDem says:

    Corbett must have some numbers suggesting that tying Wolf to Rendell is going to move numbers the way he wants. I can’t imagine what those numbers look like that they could be bad enough to overcome a double-digit hole post-Labor Day.

  26. Chris-
    So, how does your “character” explain why everyone’s school taxes and tuition went up, and programs were cut, if Corbett really spent more on education?

  27. PAINDY1 says:

    SO WE HAD THE JOBS GOVERNOR, THE PRISON GOVERNOR, THE WHITE GOVERNOR FOR THE WHITE FOLK ON NOW ON 9/9 WE HAVE FORMER GOVERNOR CORBETT AS THE EDUCATION GOVERNOR. SO CORBETT AND HIS TEAM WANT US TO BELIEVE ALL THE PAIN THAT VOTERS FEEL LOCALLY IN HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES AND DECREASED PROGRAMS IS NOT REAL. ACCORDING TO CORBETT, IT’S ALL THE FAULT OF TEACHERS AND HE AND HIS FRIENDS HATE REAL HARD-WORKING EDUCATORS. CORBETT, OUTSIDE OF THE HARRISBURG BUBBLE JUST BECAUSE CHUCKY ZOGBY SAY IT IS SO DOESN’T MEAN IT IS SO. IN FACT EVEN THE LEGISLATORS IN YOUR OWN CAUCUS ARE TIRED OF DEALING WITH CHUCKY ZOGBY AND HIS SPINNING! IMPROVING PUBLIC EDUCATION WAS NEVER YOUR PRIORITY! OUTSOURCING PUBLIC EDUCATION TO THE FAILING CYBER CHARTER CORPORATE WELFARE QUEENS WAS ALWAYS THE RACKET. SO REMEMBER VOTERS AND PA LEGISLATORS, WHATEVER CHUCKY ZOGBY SAYS IS TRUE, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!

  28. davis daino u aint got the fax right, guevnor corbitt aint never cut no educ funds, he give lots more than all other penn. guvs that were guvenor before he become guv.

  29. Well, it’s no surprise that someone as uninterested in education would have trouble with his math.

    Corbett failed to make up for the stimulus money drying up (and kudos for mentioning that he opposed it in the first place).

    But, his ad claiming that he increased “funding” ignores that he decreased spending (from total state + federal sources). The parents, of college kids, had their tuition go up, and everyone had their school property taxes go up.

    So, Corbett is in a bind to say he increased funds, because then he has to explain why everyone paid more and got less and after-school programs got cut.

    My Wolf ad:
    “Tom Corbett claims he increased funding to our schools, but your tuition bills and school taxes tell the real story. Total state spending decreased (show chart), while more came out of your pocket, whether you have kids or not. Corbett refused to allow a fair tax on his big contributors in the drilling oil and gas industry, that would have fixed PA’s education budget. Tom Wolf will fight to restore education and lower school taxes and tuition.”

    Wolf campaign: feel free to use above in an ad.

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