Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Guess who's the "education governor?"

We know it's not the Pennsylvania incumbent. We know it's got to be a Democrat. But the reason for the selection is, well, interesting.

Guess who's the "education governor?"

Okay, if you guessed Gov. Corbett, well, you just haven't been paying attention.

I mean, come on, you know organized education awards are given for those willing to spend more money on education. And you know the only people willing to spend more money on education are Democrats and unions.

So when the National Education Association, the union representing 3 million teachers and school staff members, named it's new "Education Governor of the Year," you just knew it would name some lefty big-spender in a Democratic state.

But it's interesting why California Gov. Jerry Brown nabbed this year's title.

He actually did something about education, which is not necessarily to directly suggest that another governor in another large state closer to home did not.

Part of Gov. Brown's new state budget is built on a ballot measure he pushed last year to pump more money into education, a measure that voters approved.

Pennsylvania, of course, would never actually ask its citizens what they want.

The California measure institutes a new sales and income tax on folks making more than $250,000 to raise tens of billions of dollars over the next seven years.

Pennsylvania, of course, would never pass a tax, especially on those (be they corporations or people) who can afford it.

Then Brown increased K-12 funding by about $2 billion and started a NEW FUNDING FORMULA to deliver additional aid to low-income districts (such as one might find in another large state that has a large school district with low-income students).

Pennsylvania...well, you know.

And so Philadelphia School District still faces its "doomsday" budget with 3,800 layoffs, program cuts and hopelessness for all.

But at least no big, greedy teachers' union will be pandering to our governor for caving in to citizens' calls for more education spending.

Class dismissed.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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