2010-02-13 / Front Page

Lion’s share of Ed. Council funding restored

Potter County Education Council staff and students are breathing a sigh of relief after learning that 90 percent of the agency’s state funding has been restored for the current year.

In January, Gov. Ed Rendell had eliminated funding for the state’s Community Education Councils, including $297,000 for the Potter County organization.

While this year’s state subsidy will be 10-percent less than the original allocation, PCEC leaders are still grateful.

“We’ve expected all along to have some kind of cut this year due to the economy,” Executive Director Helene Nawrocki acknowledged. “We’ll be fine.”

She’s applying for grants to supplement the state allocation, as has been customary in previous years.

Rural lawmakers, especially Sen. Joe Scarnati, have supported the education councils, Nawrocki noted.

“We also appreciate the support from school superintendents, the county commissioners and many current county residents and former students,” as well as local banks, she said.

Agency staff and advocates will have little time to draw a deep breath before the struggle resumes. The governor’s 2010-2011 budget, unveiled on Tuesday, eliminates funding for the education councils.

“We expected that, but more people are aware now, so maybe it won’t be as difficult to get the funds put back,” Nawrocki observed.

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