Parkland Budget Gets Preliminary Vote Tuesday
It's a necessary first step in the budget process that won't be completed until June.
Parkland School District's 2013-14 preliminary budget is slated for a vote by the Board of Education at next Tuesday night's meeting.
Business Administration Director John Vignone and Superintendent of Schools Richard Sniscak briefed members of the board's Education & Athletics Committee on the status of the budget during a Tuesday morning committee meeting.
Vignone told the the committee that $1.498 million must be eliminated from the 2013-14 budget so that it remains within the allowable Act 1 index, plus exceptions. That would represent a preliminary 4.35 millage increase.
"It's full of uncertainty right now. We exceed where we can be," Vignone said. "We have a lot of work to do, using fund balance, retirements and other things."
Sniscak was quick to inform committee members that the millage increase seen in the preliminary budget is not the increase expected when the final budget is presented and passed in June.
"In this economy, that's not what we can support," he said. "It's a balance between what we need to support us and the ability of the taxpaying public to afford it."
Vignone said pension reforms, as proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett, will be a very big part of the budget.
Vignone pointed out that the governor's basic education funding for Parkland represents a 3.7 percent increase, which he called the largest increase in any Lehigh County school district.
He also stated that millage rated came down during the recent Lehigh County reassessment process.
The preliminary budget of $145.7 million is a 5.76 percent increase over the 2012-13 budget of $137.7 million.
Vignone stated that salaries and employee benefits accounted for the biggest percent change.
Last year, the Parkland school board unanimously approved a $137.8 million budget Tuesday night that raised taxes 3.67 percent, froze teacher salaries and cut 60 teacher and staff positions.
The district's millage increased 1.46 mills, from 39.73 mills to 41.19 mills.