Funding Returns to York County School Districts After State Reimbursement Reform, York Legislators Say
HARRISBURG – The members of the York County House Republican delegation, state Reps. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Ron Miller (R-Jacobus), Mike Regan (R-Dillsburg), Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R-Red Lion) and Will Tallman (R-Adams/York), today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s approval to commence payments for construction projects in school districts across the state, including the York Suburban and York City school districts in York County.

The reimbursement approval is the result of funding provisions to advance school construction projects in the 2014-15 Fiscal Code. An additional $10 million in this year’s budget is also dedicated to school district construction reimbursement.

“This is great news for our local school districts, and we hope it is only the beginning for the way they are reimbursed for construction projects,” Grove said. “This system is long overdue for reform and it is time to bring it into the 21st century.”

Earlier this year, the House passed House Bill 2124, authored by Grove, which calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the archaic and antiquated PlanCon process. That bill awaits consideration in the Senate.

The department’s approval will lead to payment toward the following York County projects:

• York City - $1,786,838.70. Funding is for projects at McKinley Elementary School, Phineas Davis Elementary School and Jackson Elementary School.

• York Suburban - $396,986.70. Funding is for projects at Yorkshire Elementary School and Valley View Elementary School.

“Funding these construction projects is a win for local taxpayers,” said Tallman, a member of the House Education Committee. “Individual school districts’ only recourse was to fund them through property tax hikes. That option is now off the table.”

According to a May 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 200 projects across the state are waiting for reimbursement, adding up to a cost of $105 million just to initiate reimbursement payments. This delay is due, in part, to the complicated and archaic Planning and Construction Workbook process, also known as PlanCon. This process involves 11 steps with 200 pages of paperwork in just the first portion alone.

The measure signed by the governor allowed the recent moratorium on new projects entering the PlanCon process to expire and will help cut down on the backlog of projects by distributing available reimbursement funding to more school districts, with priority given to those which have submitted all required documentation and received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition, this year’s budget includes a $10 million increase in funding for PlanCon.

York County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nick Ruffner