As polls have predicted for more than a year, education funding has become the most tangible issue for voters in the upcoming governor’s election.
The candidates know it, as evidenced by commercials and news conferences across Pennsylvania.
For the past week, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, his campaign team and supporters have been on a mission to change Corbett’s image among many voters who remain angry at $1 billion in cuts he imposed on schools and universities in 2011-12.
At the same time, Democrat Tom Wolf, his campaign team and backers have orchestrated TV ads, emails, and public events critical of Corbett’s 4-year-old budget decisions.
That messaging war continued Wednesday in the Lehigh Valley.
Standing outside Muhlenberg Elementary School in west Allentown, a school his son will attend in three years and his daughter after that, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, said the cuts are personal.
The Allentown School District has raised taxes roughly 5 percent each of the past two years and cut more than 400 positions over the past four years. Schlossberg said his wife, a teacher in the district, has been assigned to four schools in five years as other teachers lose their jobs.
“There is no doubt that my children and all the children of Allentown will receive a worse education because of [Corbett’s] disinvestment,” said Schlossberg, who was at the news conference with Katie McGinty, chairwoman of Wolf’s Fresh Start Committee, and Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller.
Two days earlier, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley called the claims that Corbett cut $1 billion from schools in 2011-12 “a damn lie.”
Full story: Gov. Tom Corbett on defense over his education spending record amid criticisms from opponent Tom Wolf Steve Esack and Samantha Marcus, The Morning Call, 8/6/14