Lets go directly to the red meat. To be voted on at next week’s regular school board meeting:
- Adopting the 2013 -2014 General Fund Budget Expenditures in the amount of $47,492,791, and
- Establishing a real estate millage rate of 36.66 mills in Chester County and 27.71 mills in Lancaster County.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, those are the two items you are looking for. The difference in this year’s budget, and next year’s budget is over $882,000. It includes, as we have talked about, using roughly $1 Million in “saving” funds to balance.
Much of the budget presentation focused on stressing that the increase is almost completely Prescription & Benefits costs, salary costs were controlled, and comparing 2012-13 to the 2013-14 final. While I am sure others will discuss what was presented, as it was presented, I want to discuss the initial proposed 2013-14 budget compared to what seems will be the final.
The original proposed initial budget, from January, was an increase of $1.2 Million over the current year. Of that, $1.1 Million was salaries and benefits.
The current proposed final budget is an increase of over $828,000 compared to the current year.
Despite the increase being less, the district needed over $1 Million in “Savings Account” funds in order to balance without a tax increase for Chester County.
Salaries & Benefits equates to roughly $900,000 of the $1 Million needed to balance, and we have moved from additional Salaries and Benefits being most of the budget increase to more than the increase. The initial proposed budget included $19.2 Million for salaries, and $8.4 Million for benefits. Salaries were decreased from the initial proposed by not replacing retiring teachers, and there was a slight increase to benefits caused by their prescription plan.
As we have discussed previously, the difference between the originally proposed and the final budget is just over $400,000, or almost 1% in cuts. Of that, roughly half the amount cut came by not replacing several retiring teachers, and the other $200,000 from actually cutting other budgetary spending through various methods.
Can we call 1% in cuts, and spending $1 Million in “savings” to avoid a tax increase, a real victory? Maybe, maybe not, but it does give many homeowners 12 months of breathing room, and all of us time to look toward real cuts in the 2014-15 budget.
Dr Newcome’s Resignation
Yes, he will be formally resigning effective June 30, 2013. You can read the entire press release on the Parkesburg Gazette. It is published there without commentary. Personally, I would have preferred an announcement without the intense puffery, but it is something I think we all have come to expect.