After Wolf's line-item veto, schools group is happy, but nervous

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Dec 29, 2015 3:42 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Wolf is releasing more than $23 billion to fund schools, human services, and other state services, while vetoing other parts of the state's budget.

But one schools group is concerned what's coming in the future.

Schools will get half of their state appropriations for the year.

But the second half is held up until Governor Wolf and Republican legislative leaders can reach an agreement on a full budget.

"In a lot of cases, there's going to be that skeptical, 'Oh here we go again' response because we really haven't solved the problem, we've just put a temporary band aid on it," says Jay Himes with the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.

He says he wonders if a budget will ever get done.

"There's certainly going to be some fear that that's going to be the case - it took six months to get this far - and so maybe we'll have the state doing two budgets at once. We're in never never land in terms of this process," says Himes.

Himes says schools will be able to stay open for the time being, but they'll eventually need the full state funding.

And he says school boards need a better idea of how much state funding they'll get to budget for next school year.

The partial budget signed by Wolf doesn't reimburse school districts for borrowing costs because of the impasse.

The state Auditor General's office says districts have borrowed nearly $900 million.

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