- In a memo responding to inquiries from various school districts about funding, the Pennsylvania state Department of Education has offered formal guidance on how districts should shut down schools.
- The memo calls for 11 actions for school boards to consider before temporarily shuttering schools for lack of funds, Penn Live reports, a process that takes around 60 days.
- Schools in PA received their final payment for basic operational costs on Dec. 29, 2015; lawmakers have not yet offered alternative funding sources or solutions.
It's been a long, complicated road for Pennsylvania school districts. Fiscal woes in the state have ranged from the fall 2015 budget impasse that cost school districts more than $11.2 million in borrowing fees and interest to lawsuits over the failure to find solutions to funding formulas. Last month, a suit filed by The Pennsylvania School Boards Association alleged that state officials unfairly held up money for schools while other parts of state government didn't see the same treatment.
An October 2015 audit by Pennsylvania Attorney General Eugene DePasquale previously revealed a series of management issues in the state's education system, including the lack of an up-to-date "master plan." The audit criticized state leaders for a failure to lead.
In December, Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite announced that certain schools would likely be unable to remain open by January due to a lack of funding, but none have closed yet.