Frazier School District's proposed 2014-15 budget includes $430K deficit
Frazier School District's proposed $16 million budget for 2014-15 includes a $430,227 deficit — which could involve a real estate tax increase and additional cuts in expenditures to balance a final spending plan.
Business Manager Kevin Mildren delivered the news to school board members, administrators and the public at this week's school board meeting.
When the proposed budget was initially adopted in January, it included a $957,719 deficit, Mildren said.
“The budget has been pared down, but we still have some work we need to do,” he said.
School board members are expected to meet at 7:30 p.m. June 12 to review the possibility of raising taxes and cutting additional expenses before a final spending plan is adopted by the June 30 deadline.
Based on current budget figures, Mildren said, tax revenues are expected to jump by $114,252 if the school board follows his recommendation to approve a 0.86-mill property tax hike, which would raise the tax rate to 15.1770 mills.
“This is the maximum amount permitted through exceptions granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education,” he said.
In providing budget details, Mildren explained that earnings on investments declined by $5,800 from the previous year because of lower available market interest rates and fewer excess funds for the district to invest.
Revenues from student activities decreased by $1,200 because the district eliminated its Driver's Education program, Mildren said.
The Basic Education Subsidy is expected to remain the same from prior years, Mildren said.
“This is further validated by no increase proposed in the preliminary state budget,” he said.
Subsides for Educational Programs allows for a $3,336 increase in special-education funding from the state, he said.
Mildren said the district's decision to increase the Pre-K Counts funding to 43 slots resulted in a $39,430 jump in grant-funding.
Extra grants are the result of the proposed “Ready to Learn Grant,” which will replace the Pennsylvania Accountability Block Grant.
“The details of the grant are not fully known at this point, but preliminarily, the state has earmarked $273,723 for the district,” Mildren said. “Previously, the Pennsylvania Block Grant was $63,970, so in terms of real increase, the ‘Ready to Learn Grant' would give us an additional $209,753.”
Mildren said slight increases in reimbursements are expected for SSI and retirement.
“At the present time, the amount is not fully known; however, based on the current payrolls and reimbursement rates, the figures stated are fairly accurate,” he said.
Medical assistance (ACCESS) funding has been reduced over prior year levels.
“Previously, we had budgeted $120,000, but due to the uncertainties with the state's settlement agency and the lack of funds received in 2013-14, the amount has been reduced to $40,000,” Mildren said.
Mildren said revenues overall are projected to increase more than $476,617 over the figures proposed in the preliminary budget.
“It is strongly recommended that we take the full authorized increase in the tax rates,” he said.
On the expenditures side, regular instruction expenses increased as a result of higher anticipated Cyber Charter School tuition and the purchase of a new math series for the Frazier Middle School.
“Special-education expenses also increased as a result of increased out-of-district placement tuitions,” he said.
Mildren said a slight decrease in vocational education is attributed to the anticipated elimination of ninth-grade attendance.
“Other instructions programs will benefit and save the district funds through the elimination of the Driver's Ed program and the elimination of summer school,” he said.
Support-services (library) expenses will increase slightly because of the need to replace and upgrade some library books.
No books were purchased in 2013-14 in an attempt to control expenses, but Mildren said there is a considerable need to purchase books for the 2014-15 school year.
Mildren said operations and maintenance budgets are down slightly because of lower anticipated utility costs based on locked-in rates.
Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Porterfield: Fish dinner benefits Normalville Fire auxiliary
- Former Connellsville councilman’s foresight led to happier trails
- Connellsville center to host Eggstravaganza
- Connellsville Area Community Ministries surpasses Sharing The Harvest Campaign goal
- Serial burglar targets homes in North Union, South Union
- Businesses expected to breathe new life into Connellsville
- Analyst: Connellsville in position to grow with region
- Defects identified in Fayette County man fighting death penalty in slayings
- Nobody injured in Connellsville house fire
- Connellsville area’s secular, parochial schools push students to excel academically, technologically, leaders say
- Connellsville boasts connections to Hollywood, history-making athletes