The Upper Dublin School Board recommended board approval of the 2013-14 preliminary budget at its work session meeting last night … but there wasn’t much said about it.
About three weeks ago, the school board presented its proposed preliminary budget. The presentation highlighted a budget deficit, a proposed tax increase and likely “broad and comprehensive” cuts.
At last night’s meeting, Upper Dublin School District Superintendent Michael Pladus said, “Not a whole lot has changed in 21 days … Behind the scenes, I can tell you, not a day goes by when we’re not spending hours trying to come up with budgetary reductions.”
Richard Petruschke, a Fort Washington resident, was the only member in a sparse audience to speak last night. He said he was surprised that the board wasn’t discussing the preliminary budget at the meeting; he went on to ask about the size of the administration and the need for an assistant superintendent.
Pladus responded to most of his comments.
Check out the video.
After the meeting, Petruschke said that the board should do everything it can to prevent a tax increase.
“I picked up a copy of Dr. Pladus’ comments, and [Pladus] said he’s got a really serious problem, and I agree with him,” Petruschke said. “I told him that I go to meetings all the time, and I told him that they were going to have this problem this year, and they really didn’t address the situation … and you know what, next year it’s going to be even worse because they won’t have any reserve fund …"
School Board President Joseph Chmielewski said after the meeting that the board is still early in the budget process; he added that the board will hold budget-centric meetings on Feb. 25 and March 18.
“As we get further into budget process, and we know more, we’ll get more into the big functions of the budget.”
On parents’ input regarding the budget, Chmielewski said:
“I guess the most feedback from the parents was when the parents met in the cafeteria. We read the comments in Patch, and the printed newspaper, so we read what we can, we try to keep our ear to the ground, I think we know the issues pretty well and we’re trying to address them the best we can. This is a pro-education community and a pro-education board, and we want to keep it going. But we’re also dealing with the world of budget difficulties.”