How the lack of state budget is affecting education

Jeanne Cannon, Guest Writer

Jeanne Cannon is an education major and an education honor society member. The United States is a place of great opportunities for all. Also, Americans have one luxury that may be taken for granted: free public education for all. As we know, nothing comes 100 percent, free…it is paid through tax-payers’ money.

Therefore, how are we able to actually call our educational system free? Certainly we cannot complain, right? If it were not for this system of tax-payers, the state making a budget, and then distributing it accordingly, many students would not have the opportunity to attend school. Now, what happens to education when the system becomes fl awed?

For example, the tax-payers are still paying their taxes, but no budget has been made, then there is no distribution of money.

As of Dec. 10, 2015, the 201516 Pennsylvania Budget was still not done. There is still hope; on Feb. 1, The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) released a detailed analysis of three different proposed budgets, approved by Gov. Tom Wolf. So, while public schools are drawing near the end of their money supply, Pennsylvania decides that they are still going to debate on budgets. Nothing is being resolved as of now and our students may not have a school to go to in the upcoming months.

The fate for our education system lies in the government’s hands. Schools are scrounging up whatever they can just to keep the lights on. They are borrowing money from whatever lender is willing to support.

According to The Atlantic, which is a newspaper in Harrisburg, “by the end of October, if there is no movement [with the budget], we are in trouble.”

We have surpassed October by many months and schools are going bankrupt. Students, teachers and other school personnel are not the only ones understanding that this standstill is detrimental; our government does know that something needs to be done. The Pennsylvania State Education Association has stated:

Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2015-2016 state budget includes a $400 million increase in the basic education subsidy and a $100 million increase in the special education subsidy – the largest one-year school funding increase in Pennsylvania’s history. Our schools need these funds now more than ever. Every school district in Pennsylvania has felt the impact of an unprecedented school funding crisis, which began with nearly $1 billion in school funding cuts in 2011.

Where is this money increase? Why is the only explanation from our government officials another proposal? Proposals do nothing to solve a problem; they may be a solution but if there is no action, then a proposal means absolutely nothing to those actually suffering.

Certainly it is a terrifying reality that schools may be closing, but Gov. Wolf does have a plan. Schools need to see action. Gov. Wolf and other governmental officials need to put politics aside and realize the state is suffering, and they are the only ones who can help. After all, free public education for all is a luxury for Americans