TribLIVE

| News


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

Pittsburgh school board OKs $521.8 million budget for 2013

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, 9:10 p.m.
 

The city school board cut the operating budget for 2013 on Wednesday and is looking for ways to reduce costs and raise more money.

The board unanimously adopted an operating budget of $521.8 million with no increase in the earned income or real estate transfer taxes. The board will vote on the property tax rate next month; the administration has proposed freezing that rate, too.

The 2013 budget is 1.5 percent less than this year's budget totaling $529.8 million. Nearly $10 million was taken from the operating balance to avoid a deficit.

The administration projects its surplus will be gone by 2015.

There was no discussion of the budget during the meeting, but afterward board member Bill Isler said, “This is not something we did lightly.”

The Pittsburgh Public Schools faces numerous challenges. Enrollment has dropped from 32,661 students in grades K-12 in 2004 to 24,889 this year because of competition from charter, parochial and private schools. The district projects its contributions for employee pensions will double from $21.1 million this year to $43.7 million in 2015.

The district saved nearly $50 million between June 2011 and July 2012 by cutting 217 central office employees, closing seven schools and taking other steps. It has 3,900 employees, including 1,875 teachers.

“We wouldn't want our financial staff to do a Houdini lest they end up in a straitjacket,” joked board member Jean Fink.

Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or bzlatos@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
  2. PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
  3. Apple Hill Playhouse takes on an updated ‘Snow White’
  4. Clairton summer workshop helps students improve writing skills
  5. Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
  6. Bookings for August Wilson Center climb, but permanent board yet to be set
  7. McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
  8. Man charged with passing counterfeit bills at Rivers Casino
  9. Film shares tale of Pittsburgh man who turned disability into career
  10. Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
  11. Westmoreland County on pace to surpass record for drug-related fatalities