>> School District Funding Distribution (updated June 30, 2016)
>> General Fund Financial Statement
As we head into that final furlong before the long holiday weekend, we realized that it had been a while since we'd checked in with state Sen. Scott Wagner. As it turns out, our timing couldn't have been better. In the wake of Thursday's state House vote that kinda-sorta-not-really-at-all gave Pennsylvania the first on-time state budget of the Wolf administration, Wagner, R-York, was at his most Wagner-y. "I have been able to witness total madness,"Wagner, who's pretty much running for governor in 2018, told The Tribune-Review's Brad Bumsted. "The House and Senate have passed spending without determining where additional revenue sources are going to come from."
Delco Times By The Associated Press POSTED: 07/01/16, 5:11 AM EDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. >> Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to work on the state’s spending plan for the coming year, facing decisions about tax increases a day after they sent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf the main budget bill. The list of unfinished business as legislators resume session Friday includes companion bills to the general appropriations bill and a quest to locate more than $1 billion in new revenue to make it all balance. Wolf says he won’t sign the $31 billion-plus budget without sustainable revenues to fund it. He has 10 days to decide what to do with the legislation. The main budget bill passed the state House on Thursday evening by a vote of 144 to 54. Forty-five Republicans and nine Democrats voted no.
House leaders tout compromise, but still no final budget post-deadline
WITF Written by Katie Meyer | Jul 1, 2016 1:55 AM
The state budget's June 30th deadline has come and gone, and though the legislature has made strides, there is still no final verdict. The House and Senate have agreed to a 31-point-six billion dollar spending plan, which some House leadership said heralded an end to the budget process. "I think it's very important that we understand that we are doing something here tonight that we couldn't do the last few years. We are passing an on-time budget on time," said Appropriations Committee minority chair Democrat Joseph Markosek in his remarks on the House floor.
A key part of the budget is still missing, however--a concrete revenue plan that would pay for it.
Legislature OKs state budget; critics say it's not balanced
Trib Live BY BRAD BUMSTED | Thursday, June 30, 2016, 7:39 p.m.
HARRISBURG — Meeting a midnight deadline, the GOP-dominated General Assembly on Thursday approved a $31.6 billion state budget, even with critics saying it's out of balance and one senator describing the process as “total madness.” The Senate-approved budget, OK'd by a 144-54 vote in the House, now goes to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature. While it technically meets the constitutional deadline of completion by June 30, the revenue bill to pay for the spending still hasn't been made public. “I have been able to witness total madness ... the House and Senate have passed spending without determining where additional revenue sources are going to come from,” said Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York County, a likely candidate for governor. Senate officials said the budget package requires no general tax hike. There are several budget-related trailer bills that still need approval. Approving a budget without the money to pay for it is “not responsible,” said Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry. “Spendaholic disease” has infected the membership, he said.
Pa. Senate passes Wolf’s budget proposal, local lawmakers in support
Bradford Era By ALEX DAVIS Era Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org | 0 comments Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 10:00 am
Local state lawmakers are backing a proposed state budget they say adds millions of dollars for education and the fight against opioid abuse. The state Senate, by a vote of 47-3, passed a proposed budget on Wednesday, and the spending plan was due to head back to the House. For their part, Senate lawmakers approved the investment of $245 million more in basic education, special education, and Pre-K Counts, as well as a nearly $40 million increase for higher education. “Throughout the past year, I have heard from my constituents who have told me they do not want the state to see another painful budget impasse that hurts schools and community organizations,” state Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Brockway, said. “We were able to work together to craft a budget that holds the line on broad-based taxes, boosts funding for schools, and addresses the heroin and opioid addiction crisis. This will continue to provide a high level of funding for our schools, while helping to provide vital services in our communities.”
School Taxes on the Rise Again in the Pennsylvania Suburbs
Hanover Area School District adopts $27.3M budget
Citizens Voice BY MICHAEL P. BUFFER / PUBLISHED: JUNE 30, 2016
Times Tribune By Sarah Hofius Hall / Published: June 30, 2016
For the first time in more than 100 years, two Scranton School District properties soon may have new owners. The district plans to hold an auction Thursday, July 7 to sell the former Lincoln-Jackson Elementary, at Academy Street and South Hyde Park Avenue, and the vacant lot that once held the Samuel Morse school, at Farr Street and North Sumner Avenue. School board members have not discussed the auction at a public meeting, but two public notices appeared in The Times-Tribune this week. Proceeds from the sale of the properties likely will be added to the district’s general fund. In recent years, the district used one-time revenue sources, such as the sale of school properties, to try to balance its budget.
“We Are Hiring.” The banner — and its accompanying videos — are intended to entice newcomers to a district plagued by years of rolling teacher vacancies. For current district art teacher Marianne Evans, it’s a bold reminder that she’s still jobless. “When you’re in a situation such as mine, and you see that, it’s just mind-boggling,” said Evans. Evans, 55, was recently let go from her position at Spring Garden Elementary School after a provisional, one-year appointment. By her count, Evans has since applied for at least 18 open district positions and received seven interviews. Not one of those seven schools have hired her. “It was soul crushing,” said Evans of not getting a job. “I worked incredibly hard, and I just can’t believe I’m in this position where I don’t know whether or where I have a job next year.” A hiring frenzy has put the School District of Philadelphia on track to fill all its teacher vacancies by September. But not everyone is smiling. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said the district disregarded work rules and spurned veteran teachers in its drive to fill every position by June 30.
When you see the announcement that the Waltons want to pump another $250 million into charter schools, you just have to wonder why. I know the Waltons (of Wal-Mart fame) are big fans of charter schools, but they didn't become gazillionaires by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on things they just find shiny. And if they really wanted to push charters, they have an army of employees that could be incentivized to push charters. Heck, the Waltons are in a position to offer employees some sort of bonus or support to send their own children to charter schools. So maybe the quarter billion bucks is just heartfelt charity. But I have my doubts. Part of the clue is in exactly what the Waltons want to spend that $250 million on. They're not really pumping money into the charter school industry-- they're pumping money into the charter schoolbuilding industry. They make the periodically made point that the charter industry suffers from not having Uncle Sugar to buy buildings for them. I'm not sure that's a real problem.