TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Penn Hills School District eyes $5M budget shortfall

Daily Photo Galleries

Penn Hills Photo Galleries

Monday, April 7, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

At the outset of planning for the 2014-15 school year, Penn Hills School District officials are looking at ways to deal with a roughly $5 million shortfall.

At the school board's finance committee meeting on Monday night, Business Director Rick Liberto outlined an $82 million spending plan for next year, with about $77 million in revenue.

Major contributors to the shortfall include payments to cyber/charter schools, which are projected to top $12 million next year; an increase in teacher-retirement contributions that is expected to go up $2 million as school-district percentages jump from just under 17 percent to just over 21 percent; and a $2 million bump in the district's debt service, a product of this year's refinancing, which Liberto has described as “kicking the can down the road” with respect to district debt.

Compounding the district's charter difficulties, two new charters in its service radius are expected to open next year, in Hazelwood and Homewood, and three existing schools — including PHSD's largest single draw for charter students, Imagine Penn Hills — will be adding a grade level in 2014-15.

In the cost-savings department, 22 district teachers have accepted an early-retirement package as of April 2. It is expected to save about $2.3 million.

At the finance-committee meeting, Liberto said fixed costs now represent more than three-quarters of the budget.

“You add in the charters, and we're at 9 percent discretionary spending, which doesn't leave a lot of room to purchase things for students and staff,” he said.

While many of the figures will change somewhat between now and May 31, when the district is required to pass its preliminary 2014-15 budget, Liberto presented early budget options that include a 0.68-mill tax increase, which would bring in about $1.1 million in additional revenue, teacher furloughs and the retirement package, noting that some combination of the three would likely be necessary.

The district must pass its final budget by June 30.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
  2. Love locks tokens fall prey to renovations on Pittsburgh bridges
  3. Wedding aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper ends in arrests
  4. Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
  5. Pa. judge identified who denied Trib request to view sexually explicit emails circulated in AG’s Office
  6. Housing market remains ‘disaster’ in Westmoreland County
  7. Campus visit sells 4-star Ohio recruit Hall on Panthers
  8. Evans City ice cream shop’s business built on word of mouth
  9. Revenue from special Pennsylvania Monuments license plates to help maintain monuments at Gettysburg
  10. Pennsylvania amusement ride website leaves readers hanging
  11. New Dayton food pantry sees more people each week
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.