Toepel Backs Budget that Restores Education Funding

Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) voted to restore a half-billion in education spending cuts as proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett. 

Toepel joined a majority of House members to pass a $27.3 billion budget plan that balances the state’s finances without raising taxes.  

The plan now moves to the Senate, where there will be more debate on this bill. 

“At a time of great fiscal uncertainty, we were also able to restore funding to the education programs that are the building blocks of our future, and did so without asking the taxpayers for more money,” Toepel said.  

Under the House Republican proposal, K-12 education would receive a $210 million net funding increase when compared to the governor’s budget. The proposal would allot $100 Million for the highly successful Accountability Block Grant program that provides school districts with flexible funding often used for Pre-k programs, full day kindergarten, and tutoring programs.  

The budget plan also redirects an additional $100 million back into the Basic Education, the primary funding stream for all 500 school districts in Pennsylvania. It also gives school districts $43 million to help pay for Social Security contributions.  

The House Republican budget also restores substantial funding for higher education. In the House Republican Budget, higher education receives $387 million in additional funding. Of that, the budget dedicates $195 million to the 14 state-owned universities that make up The State System of Higher Education. Gov. Corbett proposed funding higher education at 47 percent of FY10-11 levels. This budget increases that to 85 percent of FY10-11 funding levels. 

To find the money necessary to make education a priority, House Republicans have shifted funds from the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which has been rife with inefficiency and abuse. The House has passed a number of reforms to help DPW save money and increase accountability. 

“While this is a difficult budget, it contains no tax increase,” Toepel said.  “We face enormous funding challenges in the coming years, including the repayment of $3.7 billion in money borrowed from the federal government for unemployment compensation payments, possible repayment of $800 million taken from the MCare fund, and a looming pension crisis. After years of irresponsible borrowing, and spending at levels almost twice the rate of inflation, this budget returns us to a plan that we can afford. While there are still some areas of the budget that I hope will change as negotiations continue, this is a good start.”  

State Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  David Foster

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