WCSD cautious on new funding

While Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced a $387 million increase in education funding during his budget proposal earlier this week, what that actually means for the Warren County School District is less than clear.

“It is much too early to determine how, if at all, the governor’s budget will impact the WCSD,” said Business Manager Jim Grosch on Thursday. “It was encouraging to hear that education seems to be a main focus with his budget, but I am sure there will be much debate as to what level funding will come in during this election year.”

Tim Eller, Pennsylvania Department of Education press secretary, told the Times Observer on Thursday, “The district would receive an estimated $816,000 increase.”

Grosch said he has seen the estimate but said that he is “cautious in planning on revenue as being ‘in the bank’ until the Pennsylvania budget is in more of a final stage. I am still looking into what the additional funding at this point might mean to us in terms of how it must be spent should it come to fruition.”

In a statement released on the day of the speech, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association expressed a similar opinion as Grosch.

“It is good news that this year the conversation starts with discussing additional funding, but there is much that needs to be done to ensure spending increases for public education come to fruition in the budget that is adopted by June,” said Nathan Mains, PSBA executive director. “While we are encouraged, we need to see the details of the various programs and block grants to determine how they may impact school entities across the state.”