Salisbury Press

Monday, November 18, 2019


Thursday, April 11, 2019 by Debbie Galbraith in Local News

Preliminary budget still has shortage — cuts expected

At the April 1 operations committee meeting, Chief Financial Officer/Board Secretary Michael Taylor presented an update on the 2019-2020 preliminary budget.

The proposed final budget is $38,195,999. Revenues are expected to be $36,915,675.

With no tax increase, the school district is looking at a budget deficit of $1,280,324.28.

With the Act 1 Index tax increase of $76.66 on a home assessed at $176,400, the budget deficit would be $730,876.05.

With the Act I Index and exceptions tax increase of $101.60 on a home assessed at $176,400, the budget deficit would be $552,129.81.

The proposed final budget is expected to be available for public review April 18.

On May 6, there will be a public presentation of the proposed final budget.

The adoption of the proposed final budget is expected May 8 with an adoption of the final budget June 12.

Taylor provided a five-year forecast, updated the board on major expenditure increase trends, reviewed March changes and expenditure changes and provided a list of unresolved factors affecting the budget.

Major expenditure increases include The Public School Employees’ Retirement System, transportation, charter school tuition, tuition (non-charter school), special education and learning support instructional support assistants.

Revenue changes include Act I referendum exceptions approved, taxable assessed value increase and Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed increase in basic and special education.

Expenditure changes include reduced salaries by $222,005 due to three teacher retirements and reduced benefits by $194,226.

Department budgets increased by $86,661.

The news of the deficit was not met well by committee members.

In the past, the board has voted to use a portion of the fund balance to help keep tax increases low for residents.

“We just can’t reach into the bank anymore,” Board President Frank Frankenfield said.

“We don’t have anything to fall back on anymore,” Board Member George Gatanis said. “We will have to make cuts.”

Associate Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten said administration is working with staff to work on making cuts to the budget.