Pa. lawmakers urged to revise school construction funding process

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Amid a $1.7 billion backlog in funding, school officials and building industry representatives on Monday urged state lawmakers to overhaul the way Pennsylvania pays for public school construction.

A House Education Committee hearing focused on proposed reforms to the state’s Planning and Construction Workbook, or PlanCon, an 11-step process for local school districts to get reimbursed by the state for renovations and new building. Testifiers at the hearing identified two main problems: the PlanCon process itself is outdated and needs to be streamlined, and the state needs to pump more money into the program to honor its commitments.

“The broken promise that is PlanCon demands immediate attention,” Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Joseph Roy told lawmakers on the committee.

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