PA HomePage: Budget Impasse Could Close Carbondale Pre-K Counts Program

With every passing day, social service agencies say the lack of a Pennsylvania budget is hurting thousands of people statewide.

The owner of a pre-school program in Lackawanna County say she will have to shut down one of her classrooms in the next few weeks if an agreement isn’t reached.

The owner of ABC Academy on North Main Street in Carbondale says she’s been able to keep the doors open for her Pre-K Counts classroom for the last three months with no money from the state.

The state of Pennsylvania funds the entire program so she doesn’t think she’ll be able to go forward for another 30 days without a solution.

The smiling faces of the children in the classroom may show them as some of the youngest victims in this state budget showdown.

The students are only three and four years old.

There are 19 kids total in the class.

The kids could all be forced to stay home if their Pre-K Counts classroom doesn’t get some funding.

With no money coming in, the owner of the facility says there will be no other choice.

“We need money to pay our bills and certainly teacher salaries and things like that so we’re hoping our legislators will make a move on this,” owner/director Doreen Damskov said.

Melissa Biedenkapp has worked at the ABC Academy for 18 years.

She dreads having to explain why the closure may be needed to this group of kids that is already naturally curious.

“They have a hard time understanding things like: you’re not here today because the budget didn’t pass. It’s very difficult for them to understand,” Biedenkapp said.

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