Gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano has some thoughts on many topics, but some of his most alarming thoughts are about education.
Many have wrestled with the issue of funding public education through real estate taxes. Mastriano has a solution:
Cut all real estate taxes and replace them with--nothing.he wants to cut per-pupil funding in half. Since real estate taxes represent more than half the funding for most PA districts, it's not clear how we would get there. Presumably increased state revenue from... somewhere. Mastriano would also like that funding to take the form of vouchers, rather than actual funding for districts, so it's hard to predict exactly how hard local districts would be hit.
But PSEA has given it a shot.
Follow this link for a map that will show exactly how much of a hit each local district would take under Mastriano's plan. For instance, my own district would lose about $11 million, roughly 35% of total funding. That puts us in the middle, somewhere between a low of 9% and a high of 67%.
PSEA, being PSEA, projects this into staffing cuts, but presumably districts could also display the "creativity" that Mastriano claims this gutting will unleash by slashing all athletic programs, closing buildings, or axing other facilities. Nor is it a stretch to suppose that some districts will either partially ("Sorry, after 6th grade you're on your own") or completely shut down.
Mastriano's education plan all by itself should serve as a deal breaker. But I'm afraid that some folks will say, "He's my guy for banning abortion" and vote for a future in which children must be born into a state with no real education system to carry them forward. I'm also afraid that a non-zero number of teachers will vote for him for the same reason, later shaking their heads in astonishment when their jobs are cut.
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