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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Funding for Schools In State Tax Budget Looking Good!

Passed in the House. Passed in the Senate. Now Governor Tom Corbett needs to sign the budget!

If he does it will be great news for the Upper Darby School District! State Representative Nicolas Micozzi and State Representative Margo Davidson were proud to announce that after much hard work and communication with residents in the Upper Darby School District they have worked with other representatives to successfully restore $2.726 million for the Upper Darby School District.

Anyone who has been following my blog (or a group of other local bloggers and newspaper reporters or NBC10) is aware that earlier this year the District announced they would have to make cuts in foreign language and tech classes due to lack of funding. Other special classes like art, phys ed, and music, as well as librarians would have to be cut in order to balance the school district budget due to state funding shortfalls.

Parents in the school district were up in arms and took to posting signs in their front yards that read "Save Upper Darby Arts."

Several state representatives worked together to successfully restore $2.726 million for the Upper Darby School District. The District announced earlier this year that it would have to cut foreign language and technology classes due to lack of funding. The District also planned to cut specialized teachers in art, music and physical education in order to balance its budget.

The final budget agreement restores $100 million Accountability Block Grants Program for schools.  $726,000 is earmarked for the Upper Darby School District. Micozzie pledged to work with Governor Tom Corbett and other leaders in the legislature give an additional 2 million to the district to help the Upper Darby School board restore teacher cuts in special programs.

Micozzie stated " I was pleased to have Representative Davidson and Senator Erickson join me in my call for additional funding. This money will go a long way in helping the district meet its budget goals. Specifically, the $2 million line item in the 2012-13 budget is expected to be a recurring appropriation each year. I am confident the school board and district officials will make sure each dollar is spent in a manner that will best meet the needs of the students."

(Lets hope the school board follows through!) Kudos to Micozzie for his hard work on this issue.

Pennsylvania State representative Margo Davidson also worked hard on this issue. She was quoted as saying:  "After numerous meetings and communications with members of the community, I worked diligently to find a solution including making recommendations at school board meetings and offering an amendment on the House floor. I then began meeting with Representative Micozzie and we were on the same page from the very beginning. I also want to thank the House Appropriations majority chairman, Bill Adolph, who listened to Representative Micozzie and me and took those concerns to the governor, which resulted in this agreement for this appropriation." 

Davidson also noted that she was pleased to be "able to work across the aisle for the people of my district to get this done."

The 2012-2013 state budget bill was passed on Thursday, and  followed by passage by the Senate on Friday. Gov. Corbett recieved it for signing the same day.

Earlier this week the Upper Darby School District said it would restore most of the specialized classes if they received the additional funding but they were not going to wait for the state to act before making their own budget cuts.  We'll wait to see their follow through.

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