22/23 PRELIMINARY BUDGET
This month marks the normal presentation of a very preliminary 22/23 school budget.Many changes/adjustments occur between now and the final approval in June.With the federal monies as part of the equation, the actual budget vs what was budgeted each year over the next three years could be completely skewed.Due to so many potential changes between now and the May board meeting, the budget committee felt that a simple overview of the major cost drivers would be appropriate for the April meeting.Currently our budget stands at between 1.1 and 1.3 million dollar deficit which includes a 2% tax increase bringing the district an additional $65,000 dollars.To give you examples of why we are at this number:We have budgeted $500 thousand for life skills tuition within the special education budget.This is an increase of $270 thousand from last year and includes a $25,000 contingency.Charter school is budgeted at $261 thousand dollars, an increase of $41,000 dollars.Transportation increased by $95,250 dollars due to the state index.Planning for a full line of credit withdraw of 3 million dollars increases the budget by $150,000.The district utilized ESSER II monies to pay for our normal technology purchases saving the district $158,000 dollars from local sources.
All accounts that are considered controllable by the administration are well within reason from previous budgets especially when considering the increased costs for products and shipping. We have budgeted for a UTV with plow and spreader attachments. The rationale behind this is to trade in three tractors used for a singular purpose to one piece of equipment that will have multiple purposes thus eliminating storage issues and maintenance upkeep. With trade in of the tractors, the UTV with attachments is at $17,000 dollars. The other area involves the systematic replacement of classroom desks and cafeteria tables as needed which also equates to approximately $20,000 dollars.
The budget committee will meet again prior to the May board meeting to finalize a recommendation on a tax increase and a final review of the budget before the recommendation for tentative approval of the budget.
PSBA puts out a State of Education booklet each year. Our budget concerns mirror the other 499 school districts. Cyber school, special education, inadequate state funding, and pension costs. Pennsylvania ranks 45th in the nation in state share of education funding. Although Pennsylvania ranks 8th in the nation in per pupil spending at $16,864, this includes pension costs which is $5,485 dollars of the total. Subtracting that from the per pupil spending would drastically lower our ranking in this area. Cyber/charter school enrollments have increased by 14% from 2013-14 and 2019-20. During the same period tuition costs have increased by 53%. Special Education costs have increased by 62% over the past 10 years while state and federal funding has only increased by 4.4%.
It appears we are to do more with less each year. To draw comparisons, the PA Legislature is the largest full time state government in the United States with a total of 253 politicians. A starting salary is $90,000 dollars plus per diem per Ballotpedia.com and Spotlight PA.