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Pa. school districts sitting on billions of dollars

Linn Schoolhouse
Todd Petrie (CC)

One of the major issues that Democrats are pushing in the upcoming gubernatorial election is school funding. They are touting numbers that suggest Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is harming education in the commonwealth with cuts in funding. The numbers may not really be on their side, though.

While some districts may be struggling, others are collectively sitting on 4 billion dollars in reserve. That number exceeds what Corbett has reportedly cut from education. The argument from the districts is that these are funds that they need, in anticipation of future cuts in education funding. What they are primarily being saved for should cause taxpayers to think twice.

Contrary to what may be claimed in political ads, the money isn't being saved to pay for education of students. This money is mostly being saved to cover the expense of pensions. Some is also being set aside for building improvements, but the majority of districts that have a nest egg are saving it for pensions.

Perhaps the real issue that voters in Pennsylvania need to be concerned about is public employee pensions. Corbett has been battling over that expense for his entire term.

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