WENY TV: PA Budget Delay Affects Local Pre-K Programs

Wellsboro, P.A. (WENY) — Pennsylvania is only one of two states operating with no budget so far this fiscal year. Now in the 8th week past the deadline, area programs are starting to be impacted by the lack of funding.

More than $300,000 dollars, that is the price it is going to cost Bradford-Tioga Head Start to start on time given the delayed Pennsylvania State Budget.

“We decided, because we’ve done this before, we’ve had to close them before, this time around let’s get a line of credit that would support our programming until the state budget is approved and the funding would come forth,” said Executive Director, Jody Thomas. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and Republican State Leaders remain at odds over the proposed $78.6 billion budget. Since it’s impasse not many local agencies have been affected, but with school right around the corner, many state funded early education programs are determining whether or not they can open.

“We see other programs that use other programs, other funding that they have, that they might be able to use for programming, and they are actually using that to stay open. So it’s money that could be used for other things that’s being used to keep the pre-k programs and there are some programs that are not opening right now,” said Stephanie Mock, a representative from Pre-K for PA. The Bradford-Tioga Head Start serves 400 out of the 14,000 enrolled children statewide. Even though the delayed budget is negatively impacting their programs, the proposed budget includes a $120 million increase in early childhood education.

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