Bald Eagle

Auditor general: Pa. schools borrowing more than $400 million due to budget impasse

The state released a document Wednesday that said Pennsylvania school districts and other educational entities are borrowing at least $431 million because of the state budget impasse.

This includes Bald Eagle Area School District, with a $5 million loan, according to the report.

BEA is among 10 school districts in the commonwealth that reportedly started borrowing money this month.

Auditor general spokeswoman Susan Woods said Superintendent Jeff Miles confirmed to the state on Oct. 21 that the district took out the loan through First National Bank with a 1.5 percent interest rate.

Despite state records, BEA business manager Craig Livergood, in an emailed statement, denied that the district got a loan.

“I am unsure where they got that information,” he said. “As stated before, the district has not obtained a loan.”

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale reported last month that the state budget impasse forced at least 17 school districts and two intermediate units to obtain loans totaling more than $346 million.

“We are now up to at least 27 school districts and two intermediate units forced to take out loans to keep students in the classroom,” DePasquale said in a statement Wednesday. “Based upon our discussions with school officials, that number is going to jump by 54 more districts as they anticipate borrowing funds by Thanksgiving if this needlessly long budget impasse is not resolved.”

More than 200,000 students are enrolled in the school districts and intermediate units that reported borrowing through October, the auditor general’s report said.