Posted June 29, 2016
Final Budget Approved by School Board on June 28, 2016
A Final General Fund Budget for the 2016 – 2017 school year in the amount of $166,085,430 was approved by the Parkland Board of School Directors during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The final budget represents a reduced tax rate from 3.76% to 3.48% and is the result of expenditure reductions in the amount of $172,087 and an increase in revenues in the amount of $130,613. The budget adjustment of $302,700 dropped the mill rate from 14.89 to 14.85 (or .28%) since the Proposed Final Budget was adopted on May 17, 2016, and shared in the District-wide Summer Newsletter. The tax decrease is largely due to an increase in the value of a mill and a decrease in projected salaries and benefits. Additionally, hiring for the implementation of full-day kindergarten was completed in June, and the costs of hiring the new staff came in lower than expected. This, in turn, also lowered budgeted Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS pension) and Social Security costs. Additionally, many newly hired staff opted for single medical coverage in lieu of family coverage which lowered the budgeted outlook for healthcare costs.
The Final General Fund Budget for 2016-17 represents an increase of .50 mills or 3.48% for a total mill rate of 14.85. At that rate, a home with a $100,000 assessed valuation would realize a tax increase of $50 for the year. For the median assessed home in Parkland valued at $224,950, the tax increase would be $112.48 for the year. Also of note is the value of the Homestead/Farmstead gaming credit is projected to be $108.32 per approved property which helps mitigate the tax increase.
Key Points of the 2016-17 Final General Fund Budget:
· Challenges impacting the budget include the increasing cost of special education, close to $3M in projected payments to Cyber/Charter Schools (cost of School Choice), increased contributions to PSERS and uncertainty surrounding Commonwealth funding.
· Implementation of a full-day kindergarten program is also impacting this year’s budget as the District plans to add 14 new teachers for this program and an additional 3 professional staff members to maintain class size at the secondary level. The goal of the Full-day Kindergarten Program is to help ensure all 3rd graders will read on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, propelling each child’s ability to succeed academically.
· The 2015-16 Budget required a tax increase of 1.85% totaling 14.35 mills with a total budget of $157,677,695.
· The Final General Fund Budget includes a $6 Million appropriation of Fund Balance which equates to .8 mills to balance the budget.
· As of June 21, 2016, one mill of property tax is projected to produce $7,567,501 at a 97% collection rate.
Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak noted, “Challenges impacting Parkland’s 2016-17 General Fund Budget include increasing special education costs, $3M in projected payments to Cyber/Charter Schools, increased contributions to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, uncertainty surrounding Commonwealth funding, and the implementation of a full-day kindergarten program. Parkland School District’s 2016-17 financial plan provides for the most essential educational needs of our students while respectfully considering the ability of the taxpaying public to support a high quality, comprehensive educational program.”