East Allegheny says teachers won't be paid after this week
March 23, 2016 8:02 AM
The East Allegheny School District won't be able to pay its faculty after this week because of the state budget impasse.
By Janice Crompton / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Teachers might not be paid after this week in the East Allegheny School District — the latest school system feeling the pinch of the nearly 10-month budget impasse in Harrisburg.
“As of right now, Friday’s payday will be the last payment the faculty receives,” said superintendent Don MacFann, who said the district is owed $4.2 million in basic education subsidies by the state.
Those who will not receive paychecks include administrators, teachers, support staff and others, Mr. MacFann said. The district is hoping to forestall the crisis through a short-term loan or perhaps by persuading the state to pay the interest on its debt payments.
“We are working diligently with the state Department of Education along with some lenders to try to possibly resolve the matter,” he said.
The small suburban district, which includes East McKeesport, Wall, Wilmerding and North Versailles, took out a $1.4 million tax anticipation note last year to make payroll and the district received partial funding from the state, including about 43 percent of state subsidies that it is owed.
But Mr. MacFann said that isn’t enough to keep the district afloat through the end of the school year.
“It’s a temporary fix, it’s not a cure,” he said. “The reality is that they need to pass this in Harrisburg. This needs to be resolved to some degree.”
A representative from the union representing teachers could not be reached for comment.
Mr. MacFann said the impact on the district’s 550 students isn’t just financial.
“The most important factor that I think people are totally overlooking is school districts and education are more than just brick and mortar,” he said.
“It is a mental preparation of young minds and with this type of distraction, it is definitely limiting the education these kids are getting. I can handle it, but I don’t like to see the kids struggle with this.”
Janice Crompton: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1159 or on Twitter @janicecrompton.
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