Morning Must Reads: With Help from State, Harrisburg May Save Kindergarten

In May, the Harrisburg School District contemplated what some might have thought unthinkable — eliminating kindergarten to help plug a budget gap. After deep state cuts to education last year and little hope for more funding in the state's next budget, the school board thought it had little choice as it tried to bridge a $6.6 million deficit.

Turns out some state lawmakers did not want to see Harrisburg become the first district in the state to abolish kindergarten. And that is good news for parents and students in the city.

As the Patriot-News reports, state Senator Jeffrey Piccola, who last year helped the district save kindergarten amid a tight budget, has pulled another rabbit out of his hat.

State Sen. Jeffrey Piccola’s image in the Harrisburg School District can change from enemy to savior, depending on the time of day. 

Piccola told administrators today [Wednesday] there is enough money in the Senate’s version of the state budget to save kindergarten this fall as he simultaneously pushes legislation that could lead to an unwanted state takeover of the school district.

Nothing is guaranteed until the commonwealth adopts its final budget, but this could be the second consecutive year Piccola gets the money the district needs to maintain kindergarten.

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