The Warren County School District is in the midst of a multiple decade trend of declining enrollment.
In spite of that, the district's basic education subsidy from the state of Pennsylvania is up over $10 million since the 2000-2001 school year.
A provision installed to protect rural districts - hold harmless - has, for every year but this year, ensured there would be no decline in the subsidy and that it would see an automatic increase of two percent, which is currently in the realm of $500,000.
But, from the perspective of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, that might be under attack.
State Rep. Kathy Rapp, addressing the Warren County Council of Governments on Wednesday night, expressed a concern that declining population could eventually eat away at that funding.
Noting that when she graduated from Warren Area High School her graduating class was around 500 students, Rapp said that "now there's about 300 countywide."
"I have a big concern about that because talking about the budget for education, hold harmless, the growing school districts, they're looking at the money the rural counties are receiving," Rapp said.
The basic education subsidy for the WCSD for the 2012-12013 school year is $29,959,625, up $6 million from the previous year and up $4 million from the 2010-2011 year. The subsidy was $18,738,280 for the 2000-2001 year, according to copies of the final budget for the respective fiscal years available at wcsdpa.org.
Rapp told the COG that fast-growing districts, "have the economic base and the tax base (are) basically saying 'we want that. You don't deserve that (funding because) you don't have the children.'"
And those arguments have made it to the halls of the General Assembly in Harrisburg.
"We've already battled it," Rapp said. "Mostly in caucus and not in public, but I think that is coming...We need to find young families that want to have children again."