RED LION, Pa. – School board officials say they will be sending another letter Friday to state Governor Tom Wolf to urge him to help end the state budget impasse.
“Today's March 17th. That budget was due June 30th and here we are without a budget,” Dr. Scott Deisley, superintendent at the Red Lion Area School District, said Thursday. “It's time. Every district, every municipality, every nonprofit organization depends on state funding; they're all in trouble right now,” Deisley said. “They're not receiving their funds.”
The Red Lion Area School District is waiting on $9.7 million from the state, which is around 11 percent of the district's annual operating budget. The district clarified earlier worries about bankruptcy, saying it has enough in savings to get through until funds from property taxes kick in later this year.
“We've postponed preventative maintenance, we've postponed purchasing equipment for our students, [and] we’ve postponed travel and training sessions, so it is having an effect on us,” Deisley said. “Although we can pay the bills, we're sacrificing to do so.”
Deisley says because of that belt-tightening, the district is able to maintain educational programs at the current level.
Over the summer, districts have the option of short-term tax anticipation loans that could help too.
But the district is calling on the public to help end the impasse now.
“We have a plan, we're working forward. I'd like to ask them too to involve themselves in the political process, talk to their legislator, talk to the Governor, [and] let them know that it's time,” Deisley said.