The supposedly anti-education Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett visited a Montoursville plant recently to, among other things, sell his proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning in July.
Corbett has raised the ire of everyone from local school district officials to leaders of Penn State, Temple and Pitt. There have been student rallies against his budget.
The reasons for the uproar are proposed spending decreases of 1.6 percent to 2.1 percent to Penn State, Pitt and Temple and 3.8 percent to the state-owned universities.
Left out of the conversation is the big picture, which Corbett illustrated with a large dollar bill. That bill showed 40.3 percent of every dollar in the budget goes to public education. Our guess is that is a higher percentage than most state budgets.
Also left out of the conversation from the critics is any discussion of conceding on pay and benefits packages, which are quite healthy for most in the public education sector compared to their counterparts in other states as well as other professions.
Quite frankly, the public education sector had its way with eight years of budgets from Gov. Ed Rendell and a federal stimulus windfall that was never intended to be permanent.
It's disingenuous to now call the governor anti-education when he has no other choice than to bring under control the largest element of the state budget at a time of economic uncertainty and lingering deficit.
And Corbett should not relent on his plans until there is honest movement from public education interests toward mature conversation about fundamental reform of pay and benefits packages.