For Immediate Release: March 31, 2016
Contact: Ross Wolfe 610-745-1626
Jim Pio, Republican candidate for state representative in the 172nd legislative district, spoke out regarding the five year plan that the Philadelphia School District recently adopted. “I applaud the Philadelphia School District for adopting a five year plan in the face of so much uncertainty regarding the amount of money Philadelphia will receive from Harrisburg” Pio stated.
The plan calls for $440 million worth of new investments, such as updated supplies and classrooms and a nurse in every school, over the next five years. The plan, however, assumes that the school district will receive educational funding at the level Gov. Wolf proposed in his 2016-2017 budget. In addressing this, Pio stated “Clearly, the Philadelphia School District was forced to develop this plan based on the assumption that it will receive funding in the amounts proposed in Gov. Wolf’s budget. As demonstrated by the 2015-2016 budget negotiations, it is unrealistic to expect that the final budget will reflect the amount proposed by Gov. Wolf.”
“It is fiscally irresponsible that the Philadelphia School District is forced to develop a plan based on state-funding assumptions that are unlikely to come to fruition. The school district cannot properly develop an effective five year plan in the face of so much uncertainty. Philadelphia needs some degree of certainty regarding Harrisburg’s financial contribution to its schools in order to properly develop a plan to educate our children. My mother was a teacher and while her first priority was her students, her worries of job security were all to real.This is not to say that it is realistic to expect a concrete figure before negotiations for next year’s budget have even begun, but the city needs, at the very least, a ballpark figure it can rely on for planning purposes. Just like how families and businesses cannot appropriately plan for the future with such financial uncertainty, neither can our schools.”
Pio concluded by addressing how the uncertainty in Harrisburg is having a negative impact on more than just schools. “The uncertainty regarding the budget in Harrisburg hurts more than just our schools. For example, recently the financial institutions Moody’s and S&P, in response to the newly passed budget, stated that they may downgrade Pennsylvania’s credit rating if they continue to see ‘weakened fiscal stewardship’ in Harrisburg. A downgrade would raise the state’s interest rates, costing taxpayers millions of dollars annually. At a time when economic concerns dominate the discussions in Harrisburg, we need representation that will champion efforts to provide some level of certainty to those that depend on state funding for their operations.”
Paid for by PioForPA