Schools consider cuts during budget debate

    Pennsylvania is nearly two months into its fiscal year without a budget in place. A conference committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. In the meantime, some local school districts are concerned about spending cuts.

    Pennsylvania is nearly two months into its fiscal year without a budget in place. A conference committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday. In the meantime, some local school districts are concerned about spending cuts.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090831spschool.mp3]

    This summer’s budget impasse has forced some school districts to temporarily eliminate programs or institute a hiring freeze. And school officials say they’re more concerned about what cutbacks might be required by whatever budget eventually comes out of Harrisburg.

    For William Penn School district in Delaware County, the difference between the Governor’s plan and the Senate budget plan is more than a million dollars.

    Joe Otto is the district’s Chief Operating Officer.

    Otto: The equity issue for us is more important than the current cash issue. Districts like William Penn need to be funded more fairly than they had in the past and at least Governor Rendell’s proposal over the last couple of years has helped that.

    Otto says the district gets about 30 percent of its revenue from the state. Republicans want stimulus money to replace state aid for schools, while Rendell wants to use those federal funds on top of state money.

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