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State-released funds should keep Franklin Regional from borrowing

Patrick Varine
| Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, 8:27 p.m.

The state is still embroiled in its longest budget impasse in four decades, and both sides of the political aisle continue to argue about who is being “held hostage” by whom.

But for the Franklin Regional School District, Gov. Tom Wolf's release of $23.4 billion in a line-item-vetoed spending plan last week is good news.

“In addition to basic (education funding), other subsidy payments are being processed and the district is scheduled to receive payments totaling approximately $6 million this week,” said Jon Perry, the district's director of financial services.

Other subsidy payments include Social Security, retirement and transportation funding.

Several Western Pennsylvania school districts including Elizabeth Forward, Monessen, Frazier, Brownsville Area and California Area have taken out loans to serve as interim funding as they wait for state lawmakers to hash out a budget deal.

Perry said the governor's release of funds — including six months' worth of basic education funding, or about $3 million for Franklin Regional — puts the district in a good financial position.

“This funding, along with the continued flow of revenue streams other than basic ed, should allow the district to avoid borrowing discussions during the 2015-16 school year,” he said.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. He can be reached at 724-850-2862 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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