Good news for Pennsylvania public school districts awaiting reimbursement for construction projects…maybe.
As part of the 2014-15 state budget, the General Assembly has come up with $10 million for new projects and freed up approximately $73 million in reserves to help address the backlog under the state’s Planning and Construction Workbook reimbursement process, known as PlanCon.
This means that the Pennsylvania Department of Education is now accepting new PlanCon applications. The budget signed into law last week increases PlanCon funding to $306 million, but that is still down from $330 million in 2009-2011. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett hoped to continue for another year the state’s moratorium on accepting new PlanCon applications, but was unable to get agreement.
In addition to the freeing of funds, the State House of Representatives passed House Bill 2124, in June, which aims to speed up the reimbursement process that schools must follow during state approved construction and simplify the PlanCon process. House Bill 2124 also includes changes in eligibility requirements and a provision for lump sum reimbursement to pay off debt incurred from construction.
Pennsylvania’s big issue is that there is an approximately $1.2 billion total backlog for 334 school construction projects to be paid out over the next 20 years. Almost 200 of these projects are in PlanCon Part G, the final step before approvals are granted and reimbursements begin. So many of these projects have started or have been completed, leaving a lag in payment of $105 million that the individual school districts need to make up.
What has the impact been on your district?
Article by Dan Farinelli, Business Development Executive