State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Schools brace for impact of Pa. budget impasse

Written by Mary Wilson | Sep 7, 2015 6:20 PM
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FILE PHOTO

(Harrisburg) -- The school year has already begun in many districts across the commonwealth, but stalled budget negotiations in Harrisburg mean there's no sign of when state funding will start flowing again.

State budget gridlock has ensnared funding for social services and schools.

For Chester-Upland School District in Delaware County, which has had money problems for years, the frozen funding has left teachers without paychecks.

Steve Robinson of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association says more schools may have problems depending on how long the impasse continues.

"We're starting to hear from some of the districts that probably have a higher state aid ratio that they're very concerned about being able to make payroll for staff in the near future if the budget isn't resolved soon," he says.

Robinson says other schools may soon find themselves in the same situation.

"Depending on how far the budget goes without being passed, eventually all districts are going to run out of the needed cash flow," he says. "I don't anticipate that it would be widespread across the state but I think you will see pockets here and there of districts that are just having trouble with cash flow and being able to make their salary."

Robinson says all 500 school districts in the commonwealth receive some portion of their funding from the state.

The state auditor general plans to include the impacts of the late budget in future audits of school districts.

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