News Columns & Blogs

Financial challenges

I enjoyed speaking to the Kiwanis Club last night and received a number of good questions. I'll refer to some and answer them in future blog posts.

But I'll share that I led off by talking about strong journalism that we provide at the local level, and in particular I highlighted the three-part health care series and today's final segment on costs to school districts.

This story, by Ed Mahon, does a fine job presenting the financial challenges ahead for school districts.

It is a "perfect storm" -- stimulus funds will end, pension payments will soar, and health care costs keep rising dramatically. I'll add one more element, and that's the end of the Rendell administration.

Gov. Ed Rendell has been a huge supporter of schools, and they've received big boosts every one of his eight years. A new governor may be forced to change that dramatically, given the state's other needs. 

I think today's story will help taxpayers/voters understand what is happening, but it may be until the pension boost hits that they vote for change and demand reform from Harrisburg.

That's my hunch, that it will take that to spark an outcry. We'll see.