Burns votes to restore full 2015-16 funding to Cambria County schools

Legislation is a redo of the state fiscal code

HARRISBURG, April 13 – In a vote to ensure that Cambria County school districts get nearly $600,000 due them under budget legislation passed in March, state Rep. Frank Burns sided with the majority in today’s passage of H.B. 1589 by 149-45.

Burns said he supported the fiscal code do-over so that schools in his 72nd Legislative District and across Pennsylvania get the money that was siphoned off from them when Gov. Tom Wolf redirected funds to urban school districts in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Chester-Upland.

With Wolf’s action, those three school districts received the lion’s share, $101 million, of the extra $200 million included for public education in the 2015-16 state budget.

“It’s untenable that public school districts are receiving less than called for in the budget bill that I and a majority of legislators supported,” said Burns, D-Cambria. “I will fight for proper dispersal of these funds, for however long it takes. It’s just not right.”

The percentage losses of new money to Cambria County schools mostly fell in the 20- to 30-percent range, but ran as high as 71 percent in Richland School District and 91 percent in Westmont Hilltop School District.

“We need to make sure that all school districts in Pennsylvania are treated as called for in duly-approved legislation – not at a level based on one person’s whim,” Burns said. “My vote today was, once again, a vote to do the right thing.”