The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 23, 2013

Let the poor and middle class pay

The primary responsibility for education rests with the states, not the federal or local governments, and if Pennsylvania state government accepted its duty to fund public schools 100 percent, there wouldn't be any school real estate property taxes or other unfair taxes, such as per capita or realty transfer taxes. Tax collectors wouldn't be necessary.

The national average for state funding of education is 48 percent. In the last three years, Pennsylvania funding for public schools has dropped from 44 percent to 32 percent, which means that local school boards have had to increase property taxes, layoff employees, close buildings, eliminate educational and extracurricular programs, etc.

Selinsgrove taxpayers have seen their school taxes increase over 9 percent in the last three years and Midd-West taxpayers have been hit much harder. Increasing the state's personal income tax rate would have been much fairer, especially for working class taxpayers.

In our democracy, the majority of voters elect our leaders and term limits do not apply. However, the current Republican state administration and its local representatives should all have their terms end next year.

Their actions in the last three years have been to destroy public schools and let the wealthy send their kids to exclusive, expensive private schools while the poor and middle class pay.

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