State Senator Scott Wagner loans charter school money to pay staff and remain open

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YORK, Pa. -- A York County school on the brink of closing is getting some financial help from a state senator. Charter schools receive tuition payments from school districts, but without a state budget in place, those payments haven't been made to Helen Thackston Charter School.

Without any funding, the school hasn't been able to make payroll payments. "I believe that today if payroll had not been made, the school would have announced the closing of the school today or probably Monday," said State Senator Scott Wagner (R- York County). That's why he stepped in. "You can't ask 70 families who work for the district to work and not get paid."

"I have a line of credit that I accessed, a little under $400,000 that I advanced yesterday," said Senator Wagner. The nearly $400,000 loan will help the school pay their teachers, health insurance payments, and school utilities. Senator Wagner said he will not profit from the loan. "I'm borrowing the money at prime, 3.5% interest, and the district is paying 3.5% interest," he said. "This isn't about making money."

Wagner said the money will only help the school for October. Thackston will owe more over the coming months, so he is working to get them federal funding that is being held by the state. "We are attempting to get federal funds for the 2013/14 year and the 2014/15 year that are held by the state. If the money does not come through by the end of November I will step in again. "This is America. This is not what America is about. We can't have kids on the streets. We can't have teachers not getting paid," said Wagner.