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Local Money

Pennsylvania’s budget battle is hurting school funding

Raghu Manavalan Oct 2, 2015
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Pennsylvania lawmakers are at a stalemate over the state budget. 

“We’ve got your classic divided government scenario,” said Pennsylvania Capitol reporter Mary Wilson. “A first-term Democratic governor who campaigned on big initiatives of more spending for schools, for various programs. And we’ve got a legislature that’s a huge Republican majority, and lawmakers who are very much against what they call broad-based tax increases, which are the wasy the governor right now wants to increase spending.”

The three-month battle over the budget has led to schools in Pennsylvania not receiving their state funding.

“When the state doesn’t have a budget, state agencies are still funded, prisons and parks are stay open, but the state — for some quirk of the way we work — the state loses the authority to pay contractors. And that affects the way schools get their state funding, their state aid…. So, it’s a matter of legal authority.’

Some schools in the area have begun taking out loans to cover costs while a budget is being discussed.

As Democrat state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said, “These are school districts from all over the state of Pennsylvania. They are rural, suburban and urban. And the cost is going to go up each and every month.”

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