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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 4, 2019 01:46 PM
From: Representative Joe Ciresi and Rep. Wendi Thomas
To: All House members
Subject: Extending School Budget Deadlines in State Budget Impasses
Pennsylvania school districts count on the state for about 37 percent of their funding which, while leaving us with a 47th-place ranking for the amount of state funding we provide schools, still makes up a large and critical portion of school districts’ budgets. Knowing what to expect from the state is a key factor in school districts’ ability to decide what they can and cannot afford to do in planning for a new fiscal year. Yet if the state finds itself caught in another budget impasse, current state law gives each school district just 15 days after the passage of the general appropriations act to adopt its own budget, and 20 days to levy and assess property taxes. For school districts already worrying about what the fiscal year will bring, this is a tight and stressful deadline.

That is why we are introducing legislation to give school districts 30 days to adopt budgets following a state general appropriations act, and 35 days to levy and assess property taxes. This deadline extension will give school district officials the time to assess the impact of state funding on their finances and to take a careful, considered approach to passing a budget that works for students, teachers and staff.

Please join us in giving school districts more flexibility in passing a budget if the state budget is delayed. Your consideration and co-sponsorship are appreciated.

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Introduced as HB1227