Nine months without a state budget and many school districts in our area are wondering how to set their own budgets, let alone stay open, without the money they need.
“It’s just so wrong on so many fronts that we’re not getting our money,” said Superintendent Vincent DiLeo, Central Cambria School District.
The Central Cambria School District is feeling the pinch. They still have bills to pay and no money to do it.
“We have vendors we have to pay,” DiLeo said. “We have building and grounds needs that have to be addressed and those are all on hold because I’m not sure about how far the money’s going to go.”
Some schools across the state have borrowed more than $1 billion. Central Cambria is not considering that option, yet.
“I think that’s always in the back of every superintendent’s mind so that we can keep our districts’ doors open.”
“They’re torn providing what’s best for the kids, but also being fiscally responsible and that’s a tough place to be,” said Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 Executive Director Dr. Tom Butler.
School borrowing in Pennsylvania has racked up $45 million in interest and other fees.
“That’s why I’m hesitant to do that here in our district because I don’t want Central Cambria’s taxpayers to be burdened with an increase in taxes because we had to borrow money to keep our doors open,” DiLeo said.
Superintendents from the 35 school districts in the IU 8 met last week to discuss their next steps.
“I think what our superintendents want to do and what the school boards in our IU are talking about is let’s make sure that people are aware that there is a problem,” Butler said.
Extracurricular activities will be among the first cuts. Butler said the best things for students and parents to do during this time is to stay informed.