Superintendent's Message - January 2016

Posted by Robin Smith on 1/8/2016

Superintendent’s Message

January 2016

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.  Though I am not happy that winter has finally arrived, it is reassuring to know that it is already January and we only have 72 days until the first day of spring!!!

 

State Budget – Strange things occurred in Harrisburg December 23rd.  Entering the day, the House was expected to vote on approval of Senate Bill 1073.  The bill, approved by the Senate and endorsed by the Governor, included $350 million in increased funding for education as well as modest pension reform.  That vote never occurred.  Rather, the House reverted back to their own bill, HB 1460, which the Senate had previously voted against.  The bill provides significantly less education funding.  A vote was taken the afternoon of 12/23, minutes before the holiday vacation was to begin.  In a party line vote, the bill was approved by the Senate.  The bill then went to the Governor’s desk where, last Tuesday, he issued a line item veto.  This means that the bill becomes a law, but certain aspects of the bill remain unsettled, including education funding.

 

What Does This Mean for Hollidaysburg? – Fortunately for school districts, the Governor did release six months of funding based on the 14-15 budget numbers.  HASD received $8.5 million earlier this week.  This should keep us afloat until June.  HB 1460 increased basic education funding by $150 million.  We are projecting HASD’s state funding to increase less than 1% or $105,000.  To put that into perspective, our pension increase for 15-16 alone is approximately $500,000.  Our local politicians told the business managers yesterday to not plan for any additional funding to arrive any time soon.      

                                                                                                                 Dr. Robert Gildea

                                                                                                                 Superintendent