Corbett to Public School Districts: Use Reserves to Avoid Cuts

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday that school districts could be dipping deeper into their reserves to avoid cutting programs next year, but public school advocates say most districts are already using the money and others are worried about being able to afford rising pension costs.

Corbett suggested during a regular appearance on the Dom Giordano Program on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia that school boards that are discussing reducing full-day kindergarten for half-days or getting rid of music or art programs are not using reserves to the extent they could.

“The school districts are making a concerted effort not to go into those reserves,” Corbett said, adding that reserves are a rainy day fund that should be used at times like this.

Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts are planning 2012-13 budgets as they struggle with cuts in state aid. Corbett blames the reduction on the disappearance of federal stimulus dollars, as well as lackluster tax collections and rising costs.

School officials in Harrisburg, York and Woodland Hills in suburban Pittsburgh have even raised the idea of getting rid of kindergarten entirely. All districts currently offer at least half-day kindergarten.

Click here to read the full article by Marc Levy published in the Daily Times (May 16, 2012).


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