Budget & Finance

Some Penn. Districts May Not Open After Christmas Due to State Budget Impasse

By Denisa R. Superville — December 10, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

As budget talks drag on in Harrisburg without resolution, two Pennsylvania school districts say they may keep the doors closed after the Christmas break because their coffers are running dry.

The superintendent of the Greenville school district in western Pennsylvania told the Sharon Herald that that district has waited long enough, “but we’re running out of money.” Officials in another district, Sharpsville, have also discussed keeping schools closed after the break, the paper said.

Those two districts are not the only ones feeling the weight from the logjam in Harrisburg. Last week, the Scranton school district went to court to ask a judge to approve a $3.2 million loan so that it could repay some tax anticipation notes. Without the loan, the district argued, it would default on the notes. The tax anticipation notes had been taken out to help the district pay employees.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that school districts across the state had borrowed about $900 million since July 1 to keep their doors open and educate children. If a budget is not passed by January, that kind of borrowing by the districts could top $1 billion, state auditor General Eugene DePasquale told the news agency.

Our state education reporter, Daarel Burnette II, wrote last month about the heavy toll that the state budget impasse was having on school districts as the Republican-led legislature and the newly elected Gov. Tom Wolf wrangle over education funding. The budget has also been held up by disagreements over pension reform.

Greenville school board president told the Sharon Herald that the district gets about 60 percent of its budget from the state, and without any action by next week the school board will meet to decide whether to close instead of borrowing.

“It seems absolutely ridiculous that we’re forced to go to banks for money,” Dennis Webber, the school board president, said. “The bottom line is they (the state) have the money in their coffers. They’re collecting sales tax from every business in the state of Pennsylvania.”

School districts would get more money from a $30.8 billion budget plan the Senate passed on Monday. Another version passed House on Tuesday, the news agency reported. Talks are expected to continue on Thursday.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Budget & Finance Why Failing to Require Masks Could Cost Districts Millions Later
Some insurance providers are threatening to cancel districts' coverage this school year—particularly if they break statewide mask mandates.
9 min read
Image of a dial that assesses problems, dangers, risks, and liabilities.
iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance Will Teachers Get Vaccinated for $1,000?
More and more districts are offering cash to employees who get vaccinated, hoping that the money will help tamp down COVID-19 spread.
6 min read
Image of a dollar bill folded into an upward arrow.
ImagePixel/iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance Opinion Three Tips for Spending COVID-19 Funds in Evidence-Based Ways
If COVID-19 funds targeted for evidence-based practices are going to deliver, it's crucial to be clear on what evidence is actually helpful.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Budget & Finance How Kids Benefit When Principals Get a Say in Spending Federal COVID-19 Aid
In some districts, principals play a key role in targeting federal pandemic relief money, but in other places they're left out.
8 min read
Nicole Moore, the principal at Indian Mills School, stands near the summer literacy program held in a small lot at Fawn Lake Village in Shamong, New Jersey on July 6, 2021. Moore worked with teachers to develop a summer literacy program for disadvantaged students who live in the district.
Nicole Moore, principal of Indian Mills School, in Shamong, N.J., worked with a teacher and the district superintendent to start a summer program using federal aid for COVID-19 relief.
Eric Sucar for Education Week