Budget impasse may force learning center to close

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The New Heritage Christian Church on Wiconisco Street in Harrisburg is also home to the Bright Future Learning Center, a safe place where children in need can learn and grow, but soon they could be turned away.

“I have 89 kids who are getting ready to be told there is no room for them,” said Pastor Scott Barkley, Bright Futures Learning Centers.

Pastor Barkley helps run three centers, two in Harrisburg and one in Steelton, but the budget impasse means no money.

“The state owes us approximately $335,000. We have a grant of $731,000. We have not had a pay check since June and my wife and I have depleted all of our savings to be able to support our staff,” said Barkley.

The 19 employees have agreed to work for free but it is not enough to keep the doors open.

“Those 90 kids will ultimately go home and the parents, most of them, will have to take a leave of absence or they will have to quit there jobs. The collateral damage is if they quit their jobs they end up back on public assistance,” said Barkley.

Barkley is hoping lawmakers will reach an agreement so the kids will still have a place to go.

“Now is the time for everyone to say I give. Put it on the table and let’s get this thing done so that there is no more damage,” said Barkley.

Donations to help the center can be made to Centric Bank on Linglestown Road under Bright Futures Learning Centers.


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