Advocates say Pa. school cuts likely for 3rd year

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Advocates for Pennsylvania school boards say cutbacks in school programs are expected to be widespread for a third straight year.

Groups representing school business officials and administrators Wednesday released a survey that indicates planned cutbacks in the 2013-14 school year won’t be as deep as the previous two years, but will affect about three-quarters of the 500 school districts. It’s based on responses from 187 districts.

The groups say many districts are still reeling from reductions in state and federal funds in recent years and that stagnant property-tax collections, the withdrawal of reserve funds and the pressure of state mandates compound their problems.

They say the results include the loss of nearly 20,000 school jobs, scaled-back course offerings, increased class sizes and cutbacks in tutoring for students who are struggling.

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