Governor Corbett has proposed dedicating $1 billion from the sale of the state liquor store system to fund education through a proposed "Passport for Learning" grant. The proposed increased funding for education has persuaded some in the education community-mostly school administrators and school board members-to publicly endorse the Governor's plan to privatize the liquor system.
The Governor claims that his "Passport for Learning" program will "provide every PA student with the opportunity to achieve academic excellence." The Governor's new-found focus on education is short-sighted, disingenuous, and outright hypocritical. If the Governor is truly concerned with providing our children "an opportunity to achieve academic excellence", we should be asking the following questions:
Why did the Governor cut over $1 billion in funding for education in his last two budgets?
Why didn't the Governor propose his "Passport" program two years ago?
Why is the "Passport" program funded for only four years?
Why don't our children deserve "academic excellence" every year?
Why is "academic excellence" important only if the state liquor stores are privatized?
How will the "Passport" program be funded in future years?
It seems clear that education funding has been introduced into the privatization debate as a bribe to legislators who have previously shown little interest in dismantling the current liquor distribution system. It is a compelling argument for privatization proponents and must be exposed for what it is-a moral sell out in the name of corporate profits.
Heidi Tuller, Warren