To the editor:
The legal responsibility for providing public education to the state's children rests on the shoulders of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Unfortunately, the Corbett Administration and the Republican-controlled legislature have not accepted that responsibility during the past two years.
Presently, the legislature is considering a bill that would shift some of the funding for local public schools from real estate property taxes to increases in the State's personal income and sales tax rates. Generally, I support that concept, especially the shift to personal income, but I have reservations about increasing the sales tax rate.
Given the track record of the past two years of Republican control and its lack of support for public education, I also have reservations about the bill to shift funding locally to the state level where taxes are fairer and are collected in smaller amounts on a regular basis.
To be specific, is this just a back-door attempt to cut funding for local schools even further, or an honest effort to make taxation fairer and to increase revenue for public schools? We don't know for sure.
As you may recall, most taxpayers and voters were led to believe that income from taxes on gambling revenues would only be used to reduce school property taxes, which is not the case at all. Without reasonable safeguards to prevent deeper cuts to public schools, this legislation should NOT become law.
David L. Faust