Corbett has practical plans for liquor privatization funds

We know Gov. Corbett’s liquor privatization plan has its critics.

But before the critics fall into their knee-jerk talking points, they might want to consider Corbett’s goals for the $1 billion in revenue he hopes can be raised through sales of wholesale liquor licenses, wine and liquor licenses and liquor licenses to retailers.

The plan is to spend $1 billion over four years on public schools to create a proposed block grant program. The money would help finance programs involving public safety, learning in reading and math through third grade, individualized learning programs and science, technololgy, engineering and mathematics instruction in the sixth to 12th grades.

Those uses strike us as practical. They also strike us as things the schools are probably struggling to provide these days.

So the state gets out of the liquor business, Pennsylvania consumers get the benefits of choice, access and competition like the rest of the country and the education system gets a needed revenue jolt that doesn’t cost taxpayers.

Compare that the state’s leap into the casino and slots business. That was going to reduce and perhaps eliminate school property taxes, Gov. Rendell promised and boasted.

Despite healthy revenue gains some years since then and a recent flush of revenue from gambling, the move has made very little if any dent in school property taxes.

So we will take a shot at Corbett’s privatization of liquor and guess that it will pay greater dividends to education than slots and casinos plan has.