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PA Agencies Self-Report Accomplishments, Challenges

The Corbett administration has released the annual Report on State Performance which examines the accomplishments and challenges of 30 commonwealth agencies in seven areas:  economic development, education, the environment, consumer protection, government efficiency, health and human services and public safety.

"In the end what we're reporting on is how efficiently government is using taxpayer money to deliver programs and services that it does," said Jay Pagni, spokesperson for the governor's budget office.

Since 2008 the governor has been required to provide annual report to citizens to delineate where and how taxpayer dollars are allocated, but also demonstrate how effectively the money was spent.

Pagni admits the agencies are providing a self-evaluation and that there is no independent evaluation of these reports.

"The reports don't just highlight the good things, the successes," Pagni said.  "They also outline areas of improvement, the challenges some of our programs are facing and opens up an opportunity for our administration to address those challenges and become more efficient."

Pagni says most agencies share one particular challenge--decreased funding.  "With that said it becomes more difficult for not necessarily to maintain but to expand their programs and services."

The first goal listed in the report focuses on education: Build a World Class Public Education System That Enables All Pennsylvania Children to Achieve Their Full Potential.  According to Pagni, a step toward that goal is creating school choice and improving teacher effectiveness.

"If you look at enrollment, enrollment is down over 2010, 2011, however they are creeping up," Pagni said.  "This governor has been investing in basic education; we're starting to see results of those investments through increased proficiency in reading, writing and math."

However, Gov. Corbett's 2012-13 budget provides $300 million less for basic education than the 2010-11 budget, the final spending plan of his predecessor Ed Rendell.