Should Harrisburg Block Grant Funds to Counties and School Districts?

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John Micek says:

Capitolwire Takes A Look …
at the $30 million in spending reductions in the Department of Public Welfare’s budget. The administration trims $168 million by taking county social service programs and funneling them into a block grant program. And if you think we’re behind a paywall, they’re so behind a paywall that it’ll make your teeth hurt.

And Eric Boehm reported that Tom Corbett also wants to block grant funds to school districts, instead of funding individual programs:

Rather than receiving money through various line items, districts now will get almost all their state tax dollars through a block grant program, Corbett said. The changes will allow for greater flexibility at the district level, which, he said, is “bound up in a thicket of outdated and time-consuming regulations and mandates.”

“The rationale here is clear. Local districts know better how to spend and allocate resources than do bureaucrats in Harrisburg,” Corbett said. “There are no cuts. In fact, you will find a slight increase.”

Overall, the state will spend $9.5 billion on basic education, up from $9.2 billion in the current budget. But Corbett’s budget plan would cut higher education spending by about $240 million.

Curious to know what you all think about this. I haven’t really made up my mind yet.

My biggest concern was that this would be a back-door funding cut, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Is there anything else wrong with it?

Because otherwise, I really like the idea of giving some school districts more flexibility. If they can save on something like transportation, that money can be used in the classroom or for after-school programs.

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