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Corbett To Schools: Spend More Reserve Cash

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(Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, in file photo.  Credit: Mario Tama/ Getty Images)

(Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett, in file photo. Credit: Mario Tama/ Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Corbett believes Pennsylvania school districts could tap into their reserve funds more deeply instead of cutting programs.

During a recent appearance with WPHT’s Dom Giordano, Governor Corbett said if school boards want to cut programs instead of spending more of their financial reserves, blame them — not his budget.

“Well, I look at the reserves as – it’s a rainy day fund. And this is a rainy day – we are in a rainy day.”

Corbett said school district cash reserves are meant for times like now.

“But what do we hear out there? ‘Oh my goodness, because of Governor Corbett’s budget, we’re going to have to get rid of all-day kindergarten, we’re going to have to get rid art and music in the classrooms’. Well, if I look at that school district and I see a substantial reserve – that’s their decision.”

But Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, says while it may be raining now, school districts are bracing for a massive spike in pension costs that are looming.

“It’ll be a hurricane in another year or two because of the huge pension cost increases.”

Buckheit also says school districts typically set aside money to help pay for construction projects in the works.

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