A York City lawmaker said an increase in state revenue could mean a silver lining for city schools, but it's no guarantee.
State Rep. Eugene DePasquale said the latest state revenue figures confirm more money is available though tax revenue that can help offset proposed cuts in next year's budget put forth by Gov. Tom Corbett.
The latest budget proposal by the Senate backs that up. About $100 million of funding would be restored for public schools, with half of that
going to fund full-day kindergarten through the Accountability Block Grant that Corbett cut.
"The ABG has got to be a priority," DePasquale said of the grants.
York City schools' latest budget proposal to eliminate their $19 million deficit includes eliminating kindergarten altogether, as it is not a state-mandated program.
City school officials said they are hoping some grant funding comes through that allows them to at least put half-day kindergarten back in; they have full-day now.
Losing kindergarten "would be a human tragedy," DePasquale said.
Another $50 million in the Senate budget proposal would go to distressed schools, which could theoretically include York City.
The Senate version of the budget is "more reflective of needs, especially for early childhood education," DePasquale said.
But that's still just a list of possibilities, as the budget has a long way to go before passage.
If lawmakers and Corbett decide to funnel the additional revenue elsewhere, York City will have no other options, DePasquale said.
"If they don't have the money, they can't just go on and spend it," he said. "The state is either going to put the money in or it's not."
-- Reach Andrew Shaw at 505-5431 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ydblogwork