Pa. lawmakers are proposing to cut $147 million in state education programs leaving no choice but for the Philadelphia School District to plan to function without some of that desperately needed state aid.
On Monday, Governor Ed Rendell said he would veto the proposed $28 billion budget, in part, because the cuts to education "would set back student achievement."
“This all about fiscal responsibility and I guess in the end it’s all about education. I’m going to be the last man standing for our children’s education and fiscal responsibility,” said Governor Rendell.
Rendell has insisted on an increase of $300 million in the state basic education funding to school districts since federal stimulus money became available in the spring. He originally proposed an increase of $417 million but legislative Republicans aren’t willing to go higher than $150 million this year.
Without anticipated aid, several of the school district’s accelerated schools that serve dropouts or students at risk of dropping out had funding reduced or programs cut, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
School district officials notified Youth Empowerment Services, a nonprofit, that their $1 million program that grants diplomas to students would be not be funded this year.
With the state budget 10 weeks late, many of the district’s other education programs are in fiscal limbo and may be cut when the new budget is eventually passed.