A Proposed General Fund Budget for the 2015 – 2016 school year in the amount of $157,677,695 was approved by the Parkland Board of School Directors during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Last month’s budget review showed a deficit of approximately $1.2M that needed to be eliminated in order for Parkland School District to be within the Act 1 Index of 1.9%. The balanced budget includes adjustments to revenues and expenditures to eliminate the deficit. The Governor’s budget proposes approximately $1.2M in additional state funding/reimbursements for Parkland Schools, but much needs to be approved by the legislature in order to make the funds come to fruition by June 30, 2015 when school districts must approve their final budgets.
The Proposed Budget represents an increase of .26 mills or 1.85% for a total mill rate of
14.35. At that rate, a home with a $100,000 assessed valuation would realize a tax increase of $26 for the year. For the median assessed home in Parkland valued at $222,050, the tax increase would be $57.74 for the year. Also of note is the value of the Homestead/Farmstead gaming credit is projected to be $107 per approved property which helps offset the tax increase.
Key Points of the 2015-16 Proposed Budget:
- Challenges impacting the budget include the increasing cost of special education, $2.4 M in projected payments to Cyber/Charter Schools, rising healthcare costs, increasing state-mandated contributions to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees‘ Retirement System (PSERS) and uncertainty surrounding funding to school districts as the state continues to battle its own financial crisis.
- The 2014-15 Budget required a tax increase of 1.88% totaling 14.09 mills with a total budget of $152,182,566.
- The Act 1 Index for the 2015-16 Budget is 1.9% equating to $1,946,192 or .26
- This is the second year in a row that Parkland has not sought approval to go above the Act 1 Index to balance the budget by applying for “exceptions.”
- The Proposed General Fund Budget includes a $5.5 Million appropriation of Fund Balance which equates to .73 mills to offset a larger tax increase and balance the budget within the 1.9% Act 1 Index.
- As of May 19, 2015, one mill of property tax is projected to produce $7,485,355 at a 97% collection rate.
Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak noted, “Challenges impacting Parkland include increasing costs of special education, $2.4 M in projected payments to Cyber/Charter Schools, increasing mandated contributions to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees‘ Retirement System and uncertainty surrounding Commonwealth funding to school districts. Parkland School District’s 2015-16 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.”