Bill Cosby stumps for Rendell education plan

Actor and education advocate Bill Cosby joined forces with Gov. Rendell at the Capitol today to lobby for increased school funding in the state budget.

"No more cuts," said Cosby, sporting the crimson and gold cap and T-shirt of his alma mater, Central High School in Philadelphia. "Why would you want to take money from a success story and pull back on it?"

Rendell also announced the results of a new national study which found that among the 50 states, only Pennsylvania showed test score improvements in reading and math at all levels from elementary to high school.

Jack Jennings, president of  Washington-based Center on Education Policy, said Pennsylvania, like all states, is not at the "stage it ought to be," but that it is "moving in the right direction."

Rendell and Cosby were surrounded by children and teachers from school districts around Pennsylvania at the news conference in the Rotunda. 

Rendell is currently locked in a budget battle with Senate Republicans that has dragged on for 50 days. Republican leaders contend they are fully funding basic education, but Rendell and other Democrats say the Republican plan uses federal stimulus funding which expires in two years.

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