Report: School District Budgets ‘Approaching Tipping Point’

HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A new report on school district budgets is painting a grim picture for the future.

The annual School District Budget Survey Report was released Tuesday. It is a joint initiative of the Pa. Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the Pa. Association of School Business Officials.

“Many districts are approaching the tipping point where they no longer will be able to deliver a quality education program to students due to their financial situation,” said PASA executive director Mark DiRocco.

The survey of 500 school districts across Pennsylvania was conducted last month. A total of 66 percent of the districts responded.

Of those that responded, 43 percent indicated that the fiscal conditions of their school district will worsen in 2017-18. Almost 15 percent planned to furlough employees.

According to the survey, seven in 10 school districts said their budgets contain a property tax increase with 12 percent expecting an increase above the Act 1 Index, which is used to determine the maximum tax increases a school district may levy.

Also, one in five school districts anticipate reducing instructional programs next year, which include increasing class size, reducing electives, delaying textbook purchases and decreasing additional instructional time for students.

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