Funding Returns to Salisbury Township School District after State Reimbursement Advances, Says Simmons
HARRISBURG – Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton) today announced the reimbursement of $536,061 for a construction project at the Salisbury Township School District. The reimbursement was the result of funding to advance school construction projects in the 2014-15 Fiscal Code and an additional $10 million in this year’s state budget, dedicated to school district reimbursement.

“This is a significant step toward reforming the way Pennsylvania reimburses school districts for construction projects,” said Simmons. “There is still much work ahead of us in order to bring this process into the 21st century, but I am pleased Salisbury Township has finally received the funding it was promised.”

The reimbursement covers part of the cost of a $24 million renovation project at Salisbury High School. Work was completed in the fall of 2011.

According to a May 2014 report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), 200 projects across the state were waiting for reimbursement, adding up to a cost of $105 million. This delay is due to the complicated and archaic Planning and Construction Workbook process, also known as PlanCon. This process involves 11 steps with 200 pages of paperwork in just the first portion alone.

The measure signed by the governor this summer ended the moratorium and will help cut down on the backlog of projects by distributing available reimbursement funding to more school districts, with priority given to those which have submitted all required documentation and received PDE approval.

Earlier this year, the House passed House Bill 2124, which calls for a comprehensive overhaul of the archaic and antiquated PlanCON process. The legislation, which Simmons supported, failed to come up for a vote in the Senate.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
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