Pending state budget would boost G-A school funding

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

HARRISBURG — The Greencastle-Antrim School District could be in for some much-needed increased state aid, according to Rep. Todd Rock. Rock said last week that the district would get more than a half million more that expected from the state under the $29.1 billion budget proposal which passed both houses of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. Rock said the governor is expected to sign the spending plan into law.

"I have consistently worked throughout my tenure in the House to limit the growth of government and to clarify our state’s priorities so that its core functions are sufficiently funded,” said Rock on the night of the House vote. “Tonight’s budget is consistent with those values, and for that reason, I voted in favor of the measure.”

According to a news release issued by Rock, the amount of state support for the Greencastle-Antrim School District will go up by $550,000 to more than $10.3 million under the proposed budget. School district officials were unavailable to comment on the development before presstime. The school board last month passed a 2014-2015 budget that raised real estate taxes by 2 mills.

Rock said tow other school districts in Franklin County will also benefit. The Waynesboro Area School District will see funding increase by $693,500 to more than $19.7 million and the Chambersburg Area School District will receive more than $33.5 million, an increase of almost $1.6 million.

“As a former teacher, I was especially pleased that this budget makes substantial increases to K-12 education,” Rock stated. “It allocates a record $10.5 billion to local schools, which is $314 million more than last year. Special education funding, which has seen no increases for six years, was boosted by $20 million. These investments demonstrate that educating children remains our state’s top priority, as it should be.”

The funding amounts Rock detailed include total allocations to districts for basic education, special education, transportation, retirement, Social Security and grant programs.

Rock added about the budget overall, “This limits increases in government spending to below the rate of inflation.  Additionally, it closes an estimated $1.5 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes.  This makes the fourth-consecutive, on-time budget without tax increases since Republicans took control of the House in 2011.

“The budget will benefit some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. Services for individuals living with disabilities have been increased by $22 million, while the Community Waiver Program for people with intellectual disabilities will see almost $40 million in new funding.   Funding has also been added to help victims of domestic violence.”