ShareThis Page

Allegheny Valley School District plans no tax increase for new budget

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 11:55 p.m.

Allegheny Valley School District does not expect to raise taxes next school year while at the same time adding a new position.

Superintendent Patrick Graczyk told the school board Monday night he would like to hire a technology director for next school year.

“If we don't have the staff to support our teachers with technology, it's going to get ahead of us,” he told the board.

He estimated the position salary to be the equivalent of a building principal, somewhere in the $70,000 to $80,000 range. The total cost would be about $110,000, when benefits are added.

“This isn't just a position that were plugging into the budget,” Graczyk said. “We went through everything to make sure that there is money to support it.”

Graczyk said that included taking money set aside for expenditures that didn't occur this year and shifting it to cover the new position.

The budget outlook Monday improved from the initial assessment Business Manager Brad Rau gave to the board in January.

At that time, the district was looking at a potential deficit of around $117,000, according to Rau.

In updating the preliminary budget, which is now just under $22.1 million and won't be officially presented until May, Rau said there won't be a deficit or any significant spending cuts.

He cited several reasons. One was an additional $268,000 in real estate tax revenue, which he said was due to commercial property assessment increases and new business development, primarily in Harmar.

That's nearly $35,000 more than what was projected in January.

Another he referred to is the $100,000 state subsidy increase for the current school year, which came in too late to be included in the current budget. He also pointed out one-time expenses, such as $55,000 for stadium bleachers that was included in this year's budget.

On the matter of the technology director, Graczyk contends it is really an educational need. He said the district has made improving its technology in the classroom a major priority.

“We really need someone to oversee and lead us into a technology program that takes us beyond the 21st century,” he said.

Overall, board President Larry Pollick said he was pleased with the work on the budget.

“We're fortunate, it's as simple as that,” Pollick said. “They (Graczyk and Rau) balance what we need with the reality of our revenues.”

Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.