AAA Member, Paul Stoller, regularly writes editorials for the Huffington Post. In Stoller’s recent post, he draws attention to the quiet yet concerning issues that plague the Pennsylvania state-owned university system. Below is a excerpt of the published piece; click here for the complete article.
Governors like the ghoulish Rick Scott of Florida, or the sleepy-eyed Scott Walker of Wisconsin, have gotten a great deal of media attention for short-sighted, ideologically-driven policies that have undermined the quality of life for the citizens of those states. Education budgets have been cut, teachers, police and fire fighters have been laid off, and local services have been pared down. In Wisconsin, Governor Walker’s union busting agenda has sparked a grassroots movement to recall him as well as his lieutenant governor.
The high profiles and radical “Heavy Tea” policies of Scott and Walker have, indeed, provoked a large measure of “buyer’s remorse” and political resistance. Pennsylvania’s recently elected governor, Tom Corbett, seems to maintain a much lower profile than his counterparts in Florida and Wisconsin. His agenda, though, is pretty much the same as his publicity-seeking colleagues in the South and Midwest — cut spending to reduce budget deficits, avoid raising taxes, and grant businesses incentives — including tax incentives — to trigger job growth, none which has seemed to induce past or present economic prosperity in Florida, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania. Indeed, Governor Corbett’s proposed budget is a particular noxious pot of Light Tea that will be difficult, if not impossible for most Pennsylvanians to swallow.
The dangers of such Light Tea is that at first it seems rather bland and doesn’t call much attention to itself, which means that people may little or no attention to its ultimate noxiousness. If you pay a bit attention to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget brew, you quickly see that he thinks that education, especially higher education, is expendable. In his 2011-12 budget and his budget freeze, Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities lost more than $112 million in Harrisburg funding. Put together, Governor Corbett’s proposed budget, if passed without revision, would mean that the state university system will have lost $175 million in funds since his 2010 inauguration.
Read the complete article here.