Auditor General DePasquale Gathering Info on Impact of Budget Impasse on School Districts

March 14 2016
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Auditor General DePasquale Gathering Info on Impact of Budget Impasse on School Districts 

Plans to make report public in late April

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HARRISBURG (March 14, 2016) – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today released the following statement regarding the growing financial impact the state budget impasse is having on the education of students across the state:

“With the state budget impasse now in its ninth month, school districts are once again sounding alarms about the serious effects of the stalemate on the education of students.  While our school districts received half-year funding through Dec. 31, 2015, many are once again spending more time figuring out how to pay the bills and less time focusing on student learning. 

“As we saw last fall, many school districts are faced with making tough decisions to keep classrooms open. That is simply not acceptable. 

“I have directed my staff, once again, to conduct a review of financial conditions of our schools since payments from the state ended in February. Based on media reports, schools are considering borrowing, increasing real estate tax, cutting academic or extracurricular activities, and making staff reductions. I plan to make the report public in late April.

“Hopefully, schools will begin receiving state funding and my report will be unnecessary. 

“Parents, students, teachers and taxpayers are weary of this seemingly never-ending budget impasse.  I am as well.  We must have a budget resolution soon. In the interim, we need some reasoned and responsible ways to make it through until that time, and prevent the inaction in Harrisburg from continuing to be a distraction from the education of students.”

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Editor’s Note:  Auditor General DePasquale reported last fall before the partial state budget was signed in December, that as a result of the budget impasse, school districts and intermediate units had borrowed at approximately $1 billion; incurring $40 to $50 million in interest and fees.

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