PRESS RELEASE June 24, 2013 from Public Citizens for Children and Youth and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (download at PBPC)
New Poll: School Funding Cuts Are Top Concern for Pa. Voters Who Believe New Revenue from Individuals and Corporations Is Part of the Solution
HARRISBURG, PA (June 24, 2013) — Education and funding for public schools is a top concern among Pennsylvania voters, outpacing other issues like transportation, taxes and jobs that have dominated debate in Harrisburg, according to a new poll of Pennsylvania voters commissioned by Public Citizens for Children and Youth and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.
“Elected officials should carefully examine the fact that all voters, and especially women who vote, are as concerned about the cuts to public schools as they are about the economy,” said Donna Cooper, Executive Director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth. “That’s a remarkable change in public opinion and speaks to a very high level of public concern for what’s happening to our schools. Small funding increases that force up local property taxes to protect schools are not going to satisfy Pennsylvania voters.”
The poll finds Pennsylvania voters have a favorable impression of public schools, particularly those in their own neighborhood, and have serious concerns about cuts in school funding. Voters remain deeply concerned about schools even after hearing statements that education funding has increased and restoring more funding is unaffordable.
Majorities of those polled said they are willing to support increases in income or sales taxes to restore cuts to public schools and are more willing to do so if lawmakers hold off planned corporate tax reductions next year.
“Pennsylvanians are worried that our schools are in crisis,” said Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. “Across the commonwealth, schools have had to increase class size, cut full day kindergarten, music and the arts, all changes that the public doesn’t like and would be willing to pay more to avoid.”
“With so many of our schools facing catastrophic cuts, now is not the time to enact new tax cuts for businesses.” said Cooper. …
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