BASD, other public schools struggle amid budget stalemate

PDE issues steps to take in case of shutdown; not a possibility here

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It’s become a kind of game in Harrisburg, according to Superintendent. Dr. Thomas McInroy. It’s run by money and we are the losers.

Nathan Davis, Staff Writer

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Education released a checklist of steps schools should take in case they would have to shut down due to the ongoing budget stall in Harrisburg.

BASD received one as well, Superintendent Dr. Thomas McInroy confirmed.

Many public entities in Pennsylvania have already taken out a loan or a line of credit in order to combat the lack of a budget.  The call date for public school loans and lines of credit is June 30, and if the entities can’t pay it back by then, it could be terrible for the state.

It’s a philosophical tug of war with the guys in Harrisburg. And the common folk are getting caught in the middle.”

— Dr. McInroy

“There are over 500 schools in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. McInroy.  “And yes, pretty much all of them are going to be forced to take out a loan.”

McInroy said it’s hard to say where the budget is headed, but he felt the budget would get done by April. Otherwise, districts would have to begin a two-month process to try to extend the lines of credit.

“It’s a philosophical tug of war with the guys in Harrisburg,” added McInroy.  “And the common folk are getting caught in the middle; it’s a dangerous game.”

Without a state budget in place, in is nearly impossible to form a district budget.  It is basically trying like trying to do something blindfolded, Dr. McInroy said.

“The best route to take for now is the status quo from years past,” explained Dr. McInroy.  “It’s all that we have to go on.”

Business manager Ms. Kim Van Gorder agreed, and went on to say that certain steps are being taken to help.

“Unfortunately,” she said,  “we’ve had to increase district taxes.

“We’re in a tough spot.”

And while this budget dilemma is not a positive thing, the school does not plan on changing its teaching styles.

“The reason we’ve been putting so much effort into technology this year is because we want to prepare our students,” Dr. McInroy went on to say.  “After high school, they’ll need to have a technologically-enriched education to function well on a job.”