GOP Lawmaker: Give $250M Subsidy for Rich Horse Owners to Rich School Districts Instead

by Jon Geeting, Keystone Politics, January 31, 2014

One of the more inequitable and depressing things that’s been happening during the Corbett administration is that we’ve been giving $250 million a year in subsidies to rich horse owners while gutting our schools.

The Race Horse Development Fund (RHDF) takes $250 million of casino slot revenues and allocates it toward “enhancing” prize money at horse race tracks because ??!?1??

When Tom Corbett last proposed to decrease the subsidy we’re lavishing on rich horse owners by a couple million, special horse interests shrieked that this was like “rape,” because obviously.

Horrible Democrat Lisa Boscola agreed that horse pork has a stronger claim than school children on this $250 million.

The good news is that this pot of money is increasingly seen as in play, because who honestly has that many race horse owners in their district? Republican Rep. Todd Stephens has introduced a bill that would take the $250 million and spend it on education instead.

Sounds good, right?

But then! it turns out that Rep. Stephens only wants to spend the money on certain school districts. Rich districts!

Rep. Todd Stephens (R-North Wales) today proposed gutting the state’s Race Horse Development Fund in favor of increasing state funding to school districts that receive less than 35 percent of their funding from the Commonwealth.

Who receives less than 35% of their funding from the Commonwealth?

For instance, in two of the more affluent districts, Montgomery County’s Lower Merion and Springfield, state funding per student amounts to roughly 10 percent, according to 2011-2012 state figures.

In districts with less affluent households and smaller tax bases, state spending is much higher per student. The highest percent of state spending per student is in the Chester-Upland district, where roughly 78 percent comes from state coffers. In Philadelphia, it is nearly 49 percent….

continue reading at Keystone Politics

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