Southmoreland School District budget steady on taxes
Southmoreland School District has a preliminary budget in place and if approved in its current form it would not include a tax increase.
School directors voted Thursday to post a spending plan for the 2013-2014 school year that shows expenditures at $26,378,342 and revenues at $25,424,558, which would create a deficit of $953,784 to be offset by the fund balance.
“We are looking to not spend approximately $650,000 of that, so that would obviously reduce that fund balance figure,” Superintendent John Molnar said after the meeting.
Molnar said the fund balance at the end of the 2012-2013 school year is approximately $5.9 million.
The proposed budget will be advertised for 30 days.
Millage in the proposed spending plan would be set at 71.0579 mills for Westmoreland County and 14 mills for Fayette County. One mill generates approximately $108,000 for the school district.
Molnar said the millages were actually slightly lower than last year. Molnar said the millage for Westmoreland County in the 2012-2013 school year was 71.06 and the Fayette County millage rate was 14.0281.
The motion passed by a 7-1 vote, with School Director Catherine Fike voting against it. School Director Ken Alt was not in attendance when the vote on the proposed budget was taken.
Fike reiterated her stance that the district is in financial trouble and her feeling that money should not be taken out of the fund balance.
“When that money is gone we don't have anything, that's bankruptcy,” Fike said. “I'm deeply concerned about what is happening to our fund balance. I'm very concerned what is going to happen at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. I think as school board members we have a duty to act responsibly. I believe that we have been put on notice. We have been informed many times, many ways what is going to happen.”
Board President Levi Miller said he was confident in the financial state of the school district, citing a letter recently received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education that said the district scored above the state mean in student performance and below the state average in expenditures based on 2010 data.
“I think we've been prudent. I think the administration's been prudent,” Miller said. “What is the source of what is being said? Is it somebody who knows what he or she is talking about or is it somebody who is crying wolf?”
School Director Gail Rhodes agreed with Miller that the district is not in bad shape financially.
“I think this district has been very prudent,” she said. “I think if bankruptcy was on the horizon, the administration and our new business manager Mr. (Jim) Marnell would tell us that and would warn us about that. I think we should listen to the people who know, who do this for a living. That's where I think the credible figures should come from and that's what I'm going to go by.”
The board is expected to approve a final budget at its June 27 meeting. School districts have until June 30 to approve a final budget.
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or email@example.com.
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.
- Fall fly-by: Blue Angels stop in Unity to discuss 2015 show
- Grease in Youngwood sewer system prompts another look at rule
- Westmoreland County, state AG to get funds from illegal lottery
- Woman sought in robbery in Unity
- Jeannette man pleads guilty to attempting to entice child in Louisiana
- Man charged in New Stanton Sunoco robbery
- Mt. Pleasant Armory to deliver Thanksgiving dinner
- Clelian Heights parents rally to keep program put in jeopardy by new federal rule
- Allegheny Township man to serve at least 24 years for molesting 3 children
- Bank told to maintain Hempfield cemetery
- Westmoreland jail guard accused of selling illegal steroids