School Subsidies For Pittsburgh
Bill Scranton's proposal to pump additional funds into the Pittsburgh School
District is a start .... however small.... in giving this city a fair share
of the State education dollar. Under his proposal, Pittsburgh would get
another $1 million annually above the state subsidy now provided.
This amount falls far short of what the Pittsburgh School district says it will need to meet minimum requirements. And Pittsburgh Mayor Joe Barr called the amount "peanuts." But it does recognize, for the first time at the state level, the high- cost problem associated with education in our cities. Pittsburgh, as well as Wilkinsburg and Braddock, would benefit by the program.
Under the present complicated and outdated state support program, Pittsburgh gets about 21% of its operating budget from the State. The average school district in the State gets twice that amount .... and some districts get as much as 80%. And while the State collects some $22 million in sales taxes from Pittsburgh for education ... only $8 million of it comes back for our own schools. So ar all we've heard about these inequities is talk. Talk by the political faction .... talk by the educational faction. And, for the most part, we've only been talking to ourselves right here in Pittsburgh. Well .... we're finally behind heard. And now that we are, the talk is that it isn't enough ... that we should get more.
Maybe Governor Scranton's proposal is only half a loaf. Maybe his proposal won't wipe out in one swoop all the inequities which have existed for many years.
But it is a beginning .... it is a point from which we can discuss, debate and revise. And if approached in this spirit, we can hop that Pittsburgh's special problems will receive full consideration.
Really .... isn't that what we all want?