Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
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Host: Scott LaMar
Radio Smart Talk for Friday, January 15:
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis will appear on Friday's program to discuss the Corbett Administration's proposed budget and what it means for schools across the state.
Gov. Corbett has been criticized for cuts in education spending in his last two budgets. The governor responded that his administration has not reduced education spending at all. He says schools used one-time federal stimulus money in their budgets, knowing those funds had a shelf life.
In his 2013-14 fiscal year budget, Corbett is proposing a $90 million increase in basic education spending. The administration justified the increase by saying the economy is improving.
However, that's not what has gotten the most attention.
The governor wants to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania. He has proposed selling rhe state's liquor stores and creating more licenses to be sold to private businesses. Corbett estimates it would generate one billion dollars in revenue -- money that would go to schools in the form of grants.
Unfunded pensions for retired school employees is also a major issue. Some $26.5 billion is owed to the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System. Gov. Corbett has wants to get pensions under control by turning to a 401K type plan, but it has been gotten a less than enthusiastic response from educators.
Sec. Tomalis will discuss those and other education related issues on Friday's show.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis on Radio Smart Talk
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