THROOP -- The governor visited a school Friday to promote education but it just happens to be one of the districts in our area that has had to borrow money to keep classes going because there's no new state budget.
Governor Tom Wolf stopped by Mid Valley Elementary Friday afternoon, despite the fact that the district has been forced to borrow money.
Governor Wolf came to Mid Valley Elementary to talk about the state budget impasse now going on more than three months. Governor Wolf has so far refused to approve a temporary budget that would give schools like Mid Valley some relief. He argued that he has good reason for that.
It's been more than 90 days without a state budget and Governor Wolf is reaching a critical point, so he took his budget plan to a familiar back drop: a school, specifically, Mid Valley Elementary where he met with state legislators, all Democrats, along with Mid Valley administrators, teachers, and students.
Governor Wolf is hoping to pass a series of new taxes that would provide more money for education. Republican leaders have given him until Wednesday to get support.
"But Wednesday there is going to be a vote and it's going to determine whether next year at this time the representatives and the senators of both parties come out here and try to explain to all of you, and all of us, why your school taxes went through the roof," said Gov. Wolf.
The budget impasse has left Mid Valley schools at a critical point, too. The school board says the district has had to borrow about $3 million since the budget battle started this summer.
Wolf says he won't sign a temporary budget that's impacting schools and people who rely on state funded social services. Governor Wolf asked for their patience.
"I'm holding out for what's real and what's really going to be in their self-interest to fix this. But, it has to be fixed for the long run. And what happens over the next week or two, fixing it for the next two weeks is not enough in my mind. And I think, I think what I'm doing is right for all those folks who rely on Head Start."
When Wolf left Mid Valley, school board members were left with a little bit of hope that, if all goes well next week, the budget impasse may end soon.
"That's exactly what everyone wanted to hear," said board member Gerald Luchansky. "We had a bunch of our staff members down here, teacher,s who we are trying to negotiate with right now, and again I think the message was loud and clear."
There were no Republican members of the state legislature there Friday afternoon. The state Republican Party criticized the governor's speech saying that he has, "single-handedly" deprived schools of funding during the budget impasse.