UD School Board Discusses Proposed Final Budget, with 4.25 tax increase
With a 4.25 percent tax increase, the early retirement incentive, and cuts across the district, Upper Dublin School Board has been presented with a balanced budget for 2012-13.
The Upper Dublin School Board looked at what will be the proposed final budget for the school district on Monday night.
Brenda Bray, the district’s Business Administrator, noted that the early retirement incentive savings have not been folded into the budget yet. Thomas Sigafoos, Director of Human Resources, told the board that ten teachers took advantage of the early retirement incentive offered by the district and they expect to need to replace 5.4 of those teachers. The savings just in salaries will be approximately $499,762, according to Sigafoos.
A substantial increase in revenue during the 2011-12 school year came from the collection of delinquent real estate taxes, adding over $808,000 to the budget. For the 2012-13 budget, the administration has budgeted an increase in admission tickets from sporting events after seeing a significant increase in admission tickets this year.
The total estimated revenue for the 2012-13 budget comes to $85,681,402. The budget is in the black, and there is approximately $494,000 in the fund balance, as well as $152,288 budgeted in budgetary reserves.
The largest part of the budget, 41 percent, and over $35,000,000 is in regular education. Special education and debt service, both 15 percent of the overall budget, are the next two largest portions.
Bray added that salaries and benefit make up 70 percent of the overall budget.
Art Levinowitz, asked the administration to, once again, look at the budget and consider a reduction in the 4.25 percent tax increase and how a lower tax increase would affect programs at the district.
Joseph Chmielewski, President of the Board, said the administration budgeted differently for 2012-13 and pulled as much out of expenditures as they could to keep expenditures and fund balance use low.
“If there’s deep cuts to be made, we’ll see them next year,” said Chmielewski.
He recommended holding onto the 4.25 percent increase this year to help balance the budget for next year.
Michael Resnick said with special education costing one-third of regular education and the limited number of students who receive that education, it’s not worth giving up the 1.41 percent exception that the district applied for.
Margaret Barrett echoed Resnick’s sentiments, “These are our kids in Upper Dublin.”
The Board will take a vote on the proposed final budget at their May 14 meeting.