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Corbett's focus on state education is commendable

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced the state budget proposal last Tuesday to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Because Corbett’s popularity is low — according to CBS Pittsburgh, only 31 percent of Pennsylvanians believe he deserves re-election — the proposal may prove to be crucial for Corbett. This year, Corbett proposed measures to provide greater financial support to Pennsylvania public schools and higher education. While the proposed funding is only a small step in the right direction, it is a step for which Corbett should be commended.

Funding for education is fundamental to the continued success of the region and the state as a whole. New efforts to bring back support for schools should be applauded.

In the budget, Corbett aims to privatize liquor businesses and distributors. This change could result in an extra $1 billion for Pennsylvania’s education system, $90 million of which would go to basic public schools, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. This new proposal is a drastic change from last year’s budget, which slashed the budget of public higher education institutions, such as Pennsylvania State University, by over 30 percent, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

There are those who doubt that the budget proposal will succeed. Some people, such as David Fillman, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, say the pension cuts required by the budget would be highly contested, according to the Trib. Politicians on both sides of the aisle seem to have major issues with the budget. These qualms may indicate that Corbett is doing something right — not trying to appeal solely to a single party.

Politics aside, increased funding for Pennsylvania schools is vital to the state’s well-being. Ensuring that institutions are able to both provide top-quality education for students. Continuing to support life-changing research is crucial to Pennsylvania’s future.