GOP budget plan restores some Pa. education funds — at a cost

    Pennsylvania House Republicans’ budget plan restores some of Gov. Tom Corbett’s cuts to higher education. But child-care advocates say it’s at the expense of toddlers.

    The House version of the budget restores a portion of Corbett’s most unpopular cuts–those to state-related colleges and universities.

    And 40 percent of the cuts to full-day kindergarten are also back in. But the plan includes cuts to child-care subsidies.

    Christie Balka, an advocate with Public Citizens for Children and Youth, said the reductions would double the number of preschoolers on a waiting list for subsidized care.

    “These are really false choices. You need to support the whole child. It makes no sense at all to cut money from full-day kindergarten in order to channel money to higher education or basic education,” she said. “It makes no sense to cut money from child care in order to support basic education.”

    Balka said her group supports increasing spending in this year’s budget and paying for it with the surplus or a tax on natural gas extraction. Republicans say the surplus should be left alone while Corbett is adamant that he will not support a natural gas tax to support the general fund.

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