When the Wolf Comes to Town
Just Announced: Gov. Wolf to Headline JES Global Summit.
If we assume for a moment that the Commonwealth's budget saga will remain unresolved on Nov. 1, the arrival of Gov. Wolf at the Jefferson Educational Society's Global Summit VII will place the Erie region in a national spotlight.
The Governor is coming to town to discuss the state of the Commonwealth and Erie's place in it. But if the public displays of sizing one's competitors and establishing of baselines for public discourse surrounding the state budget fiasco in the media recently are any indication of words to come, you can be sure that Wolf will not miss the opportunity to defend his position in the current political standoff.
When I spoke with then Gov.-elect Wolf in Dec. 2014, he referred to Erie as the Riviera of Pa. and he was optimistic about the prospect of bridging the partisan divide for the sake of education, the economy, and the Commonwealth at large.
JW: During the campaign, education was the top priority and you still are committed to education, as it remains a priority for the transition. Erie City public schools were significantly impacted by the education cuts under Tom Corbett. How quickly can school systems like ours expect to see some restoration of state funding under Gov. Tom Wolf?
TW: Every step starts with the budget. But the answer to your question is as quickly as possible. That's going to be determined in part by how quickly we can find the money in the budget. This budget deficit problem is really important.
In terms of education in a place like Erie or York or Philadelphia, part of that also gets to a broader set of questions about how we treat cities. When you talk about schools in Erie or schools in York, you're talking about an educational issue, but you're also talking about the broader disparity that exists between municipalities in Pennsylvania. So we have to address that. But it all starts with understanding the budget challenge we all face.
You can bet on the Gov. to lay out his newfound understandings of the budget challenge when he takes the stage at 7:30pm on Nov. 1 at Collegiate Academy. The event will be free and open to the public with advanced registration.
Jim Wertz can be reached at jWertz@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @jim_wertz.