For the past two years, the state governor’s initial proposed budget offered the same funding for Pennsylvania’s eight community education councils, one of which sits at 221 N. Center St. in Corry.

Nothing.

“The budgets zeroed out the councils completely,” said Steve Bishop, executive director of the Corry Higher Education Council. “Usually, the day after the budget is released I’d be depressed because we started at zero. I’d have to start contacting legislators immediately.”

Funding — at increasingly lower amounts — was always restored, but not without insistent lobbying by local legislators and council directors like Bishop.

The annual dark cloud lifted for Bishop Tuesday when he scanned Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed $27.1 billion budget for 2012-13. The budget included $1.08 million in funding for the eight community education councils. Corry’s share would be about $122,000, Bishop said.

“For us to be included in the governor’s proposed budget at that level is huge,” Bishop said. “It’s a significant step up for all the councils.”

See Thursday, February 9, 2012 issue of The Journal for complete story.

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