Scott Wagner Contradicts His Own Education Plan, Says Schools Have Enough Funding

Pennsylvania – This weekend, the Erie Times News reported that, when speaking about education funding, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner responded, “My personal opinion is we have enough money going into the education system.” This directly contradicts his own school funding plan, which uses abracadabra math to claim that he will invest $1 billion into education without raising taxes.

“Scott Wagner’s comments that our schools already have enough funding reveal his true position on education– he is an anti-education candidate who would put our children’s futures at risk,” said Beth Melena, communications director for Tom Wolf for Governor. “Wagner showed his true colors this weekend, which is in line with his record of supporting Harrisburg Republicans’ $1 billion cut to education, calling for 10% of teachers to be laid off, and saying he wouldn’t invest more money in public education. No bogus campaign plan can hide the fact that Scott Wagner would take Pennsylvania backwards.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wagner Said Schools Have Enough Funding. “‘My personal opinion is we have enough money going into the education system,’ Wagner said.” [Erie Times News, 10/07/18]

Wagner Supported Harrisburg Republicans $1 Billion Cut to Education.

INTERVIEWER: Well, they say the Governor runs the largest corporation in the state.  He is the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He’s come out with some pretty dramatic changes for the budget in this coming season, but we still have ⅔ of Pennsylvanians are opposed to the cuts in education.  If you were to give him advice, would you tell him to stick to his guns on these dramatic cuts that he’s making across the board. Education’s hit the worst, but everybody’s getting hit.

WAGNER: “Yes, I believe that Governor Corbett needs to stick to his plan.” [Behind the Headlines, 5/23/11]

Wagner Advocated For Laying Off 10% of Teachers in Pennsylvania. “‘We have 180,000 teachers in the state of Pennsylvania,’ Wagner said. ‘If we laid off 10 percent of the teachers in the state of Pennsylvania, we’d never miss them.’” [ABC27, 6/29/15]

Wagner Co-Sponsored Bill Which Could Gut $1.7 Billion from Public Education. “But every time a student opts to take the money, the same number of dollars would be subtracted from his or her home district. In theory, that could reach about 1.7 billion dollars, a fifth of the amount spent by the state on K-12 public education.” [Senate Bill 2, introduced 10/17/17; WHYY, 5/22/18]

Wagner Would Not Devote More Money To Public Schools. “To a great extent, it appeared that two candidates — Paul Mango and Scott Wagner — would be unwilling to devote more money to public schools … Scott Wagner … said he believes the state spends ‘enough money’ on public schools, while stressing the need for frugality, fewer regulations and more accountability.” [Associated Press, 3/07/18]

Wagner Said The State Should Not Spend More On Public Education. “The candidates — State Sen. Scott Wagner of York County; Paul Mango, a retired health-care consultant, and lawyer Laura Ellsworth, both from the Pittsburgh area — agreed that the state shouldn’t spend more money on public education…” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/06/18]

Wagner Twice Voted Against Restoring Funding For The Safe School Initiative. In April 2017, House Bill 218 eliminated money for the Safe School Initiative. The Senate restored that funding in their version of the budget, and Wagner voted against it in committee and on the floor. [HB 218, General Fund State Appropriations, 4/03/17, Senate Appropriations Committee Vote, Roll Call #391, 6/29/17, RCS# 206, 6/30/17]

HEADLINE: “State Senator Who Can Afford To Charter Helicopters On Whim Says Public Schools Overfunded.” [Huffington Post, 6/05/15]

 

CONTACT: Beth Melena, beth@wolfforpa.com

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