Board Approves 2014-2015 Budget Resolution

On Monday, April 21, the Octorara Area School District Board Directors unanimously approved a resolution for the 2014-2015 school year Proposed Final General Fund Budget.

The District will display the Proposed Final Budget, and advertise that the Final Budget will come to vote on June 16th.

The Proposed Final Budget is currently $48,969,009, and reflects an increase in spending of $1,476,218 or 3.11% over the 2013-2014 Budget.

The following significant changes between the Preliminary Budget and this version include:

Expenses

  • Addition of 4 Instructional Assistants – $67,456
  • Increased Healthcare – 12.69% – $203,800
  • Increased Tuition Reimbursement (PLN & I-Pad Classes) – $50,000
  • Increased Workers Compensation – $13,861
  • Increased Charter School Tuition – $50,000
  • Special Requests – $125,000

Revenue

  • Increased Basic Education Revenue – $10,667
  • Increased Special Education Revenue – $6,082
  • Additional Revenue – Ready to Learn Grant – $305,727

Additionally, the 2014-2015 Budget makes use of $1,723,399 in Fund Balance to keep the millage rate for Chester County unchanged at 36.66, and decreasing the millage for Lancaster County to 26.43, a decrease of 1.28 mills or 4.619%. Without the use of the Fund Balance, rates would be roughly 2 mills higher.

Internal Service Fund

The Finance Committee is moving forward with plans for creating an Internal Service Fund as a way to better manage healthcare. This current year, healthcare is expected to cost the District a record $3.1 Million, and exceed the budgeted amount by $468,849. The total is also a $946,213 increase over last year.

The separate fund could be used to pay actual insurance claims, making it so the District can avoid the peaks and valleys that being a self insurer can cause, and smoothing out bad claim years by using the reserve built up to supplement the budget.

2 thoughts on “Board Approves 2014-2015 Budget Resolution

  1. When will Chester County property owners see a DECREASE in their school taxes?! It makes no sense to me why Lancaster Co owners get a decrease and Chester Co owners do not! Please explain this in plain language.

    • We have to keep in mind, taxes are only artificially flat due to the use of Fund Balance (what some people call our Savings Account).

      With that, the reason Lancaster County goes down is because of rebalancing. This is a calculation done by the State, and nothing the District has control over.

      One thing I am still trying to wrap my mind around is how Actual Costs have remained flat at around $44.3 Million over the last 3 years, while Budgets have continued to grow.

      Since 2009-10, the gap between Actual Costs and the Budgets have grown from $659,023 to $2,387,726 in 2012-13.

      I don’t think I can answer your question except that other Board Members don’t see these numbers the same way I do. For now, the best we can hope for is to keep taxes flat for Chester County.

      Right now, our best hope for property tax relief is SB 76, known as The Property Tax Independence Act.

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