Corbett touts education scholarship program for middle income families

Posted: May 30, 2014

Gov. Corbett spoke at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown on Wednesday to promote Ready to Succeed, a scholarship program that would offer a pool of $25 million to middle-income students pursuing post-secondary education.

The event was held three months after the Republican governor, who will face Democrat Tom Wolf in November, presented a $29.4 million budget - a 3.6 percent spending increase over this year - for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The proposed budget includes a marked increase in education funding, which Corbett was criticized for slashing after he took office in 2010.

Polls indicate that Corbett could become the state's first gubernatorial incumbent in recent history not to win reelection.

Fewer than one in three likely voters has a positive opinion of him, according to a poll conducted this week by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute for the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review.

Respondents cited education cuts as the No. 1 reason for their disapproval.

Asked to counter critics who call his renewed focus on education an example of election-year pandering, Corbett said, "It's an election year, and that's what they're going to say. . . . There's clearly a need for this."

Ready to Succeed would give "higher middle-class" families - those who make up to $110,000 annually - $2,000 a year through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

He said those families are squeezed most by rising college costs because they do not qualify for state and federal aid.

Corbett hedged when asked about the likelihood of Ready to Succeed making it into an already-strapped budget.

"Right now, we don't know," he said.



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