HARRISBURG — Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) issued the following statement today in response to the financial challenges facing school districts throughout the region:
“I am angered by the continued financial challenges of all school districts, including Charleroi Area School District, due to the state’s ongoing budget impasse. It is absolutely vital that the state’s schools and other critical services receive their state funding to continue to operate and serve their respective populations. The legislature and Governor Wolf need to move beyond partisanship and political rhetoric to do what is right for the people of Pennsylvania. It pains me to watch our most vulnerable citizens as well as our children – the future of this Commonwealth – put in jeopardy.
“While I supported the initial bipartisan steps taken by Governor Wolf to pass a budget framework deal, this proposal eventually unraveled in the House. I do not support how Governor Wolf has chosen to dig in his heels and hold our schools hostage, ultimately endangering the education of our children, a strategy which he has used as a bargaining chip throughout this entire process, in order to demand he get his own way. Let’s not forget that last June the General Assembly passed a balanced, fiscally prudent budget, which provided $370 million in additional funding for education, and the Governor vetoed in its entirety. We then approved an emergency funding budget in September which he also vetoed. In December, the Legislature once again attempted to address this crisis by sending the Governor another budget to fund the core functions of government without any new or massive tax increases. At that time the Governor took his pen and blue-lined funding for critical care hospitals, vital health care services, agriculture, the Department of Corrections, and our schools.
“Unfortunately, the Governor’s $3.1 billion cut to education has set the stage for a crisis which has significantly impacted the Charleroi Area School District and many other schools throughout the Commonwealth. Although our budget did not satisfy Governor Wolf’s demands for new and increased spending and taxes, we recognized that sending him a budget was the only solution to obtaining the much-needed funding for core functions of government, including our schools.
“I have always been, and remain, committed to working together in a bipartisan manner with the Governor and members on both sides of the aisle to adopt a spending plan as soon as possible. Our Commonwealth and our schools depend on us.”
CONTACT: Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463