Start cutting here, Gov. Corbett - an op-ed by Tom Hylton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 21, 2010

"With a pledge not to raise taxes, and facing an enormous budget deficit, Gov.-elect Tom Corbett needs billions of dollars in spending cuts. Let me offer some low-hanging fruit: Eliminate the school construction subsidy program called PlanCon.

Each year, Pennsylvania school districts spend more than a billion dollars on school construction, with hundreds of millions reimbursed by the state. The subsidy depends on the wealth of the district, but some districts receive 25 percent or more of construction costs.

In theory, PlanCon encourages school districts to build and maintain top-quality facilities. In practice, PlanCon rewards districts for abandoning or demolishing perfectly good buildings and replacing them with lavish facilities that do little to improve learning but take decades to pay off." Please click here for the entire op-ed.