Community Letter: Budget Update – July 1, 2024

Lansdowne, PA – July 1, 2024


I am writing to share with you that during a special board meeting held on June 27th, the WPSD school board directors voted to pass our budget for the 2024-2025 school year, which includes a 3% tax increase. This decision was made in response to the ongoing delay of approving a state budget by the Pennsylvania legislature. The fiscal year starts today, and we still do not know when the budget will be approved or how much we will receive. This is an impossible situation, and, as we face our own deadlines, it has forced us to take this measure in order to continue operations and prepare for the upcoming school year. Please see the presentation shared at the board meeting here and the meeting recording here.

I want to thank the over 150 staff and community members who joined us for the special board meeting on Zoom and to those who asked questions and provided feedback. We are in a hiring and budget freeze, and until we receive a state budget and know what funds we have to work with, that is how we will have to operate. There were questions about the possibility of current teacher positions being cut, and that is not the case at this time. However, we are unable to move forward on hiring for open positions until further notice.

Also mentioned during the meeting were the cuts that we are forced to make. For example, as we cannot afford to continue our security service contract, the Rap Curry Athletic Complex Kerr Field will be closed to the public starting today, July 1st. We hope to reverse this as soon as possible, but again, until we know what is happening with the state, our hands are tied.

I want to remind you that this delay does not only affect the William Penn School District. All school districts around the Commonwealth, as well as state colleges and universities, government institutions, and scores of agencies that serve the public are in the same situation. Nobody can fully plan their operations as we all await further information.

I still remain hopeful that the legislature will approve the recommended fair funding plan as proposed by the Basic Education Funding Commission. And that Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget will pass, allowing underfunded districts like ours to reach parity over the next seven years – and try to right the wrongs of years of unconstitutional funding. Both the Senate and House are meeting this week, and, hopefully, we will have a budget by next week. But, unfortunately, it could take longer than that.

Thank you again for your engagement and understanding. These measures are necessary to maintain our district’s financial stability and ensure that our students receive the quality education they deserve. We understand the impact of these decisions and share your frustration. Thank you for your support, and as soon as I get additional updates, I will share them with you.


Dr. Eric J. Becoats