Auditor General DePasquale gathering info on impact of Budget Impasse on Schools

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HARRISBURG, Pa —  Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced he is looking into the impact of the state budget impasse on school districts.

“With the state budget impasse now in its ninth month, school districts are once again sounding alarms about the serious effects of the stalemate the education of students,” said DePasquale. “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.”

Last week, FOX43 News reported Red Lion School District may be forced into bankruptcy by the end of the fiscal year if the budget is not resolved.

“As we saw last fall, many school districts are faced with making tough decisions to keep classrooms open,” said DePasquale. “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.”

DePasquale plans to make report public in late April.