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2023-2024 Final Budget Approved by School Board on June 20, 2023

The Parkland Board of School Directors has approved a General Fund Budget for the 2023-2024 School Year amounting to $230,387,002 and representing a total mill rate of 16.30.   The budget represents a 2.5% tax increase.   The approval was made during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. The budget represents a 6.5% increase of 2022-23 expenditures, but revenues went up only 2.9% leaving a shortfall of just over $13M prior to the tax increase. In order to minimize the tax rate for the Parkland taxpayers, the budget includes the appropriation of $9,467,809 of Fund Balance, which is being used to balance the 2023-2024 General Fund Budget and provide a one-time $5,000,000 transfer to the Capital Reserve Fund to fund capital improvements. Parkland’s millage rate remains the lowest millage rate in Lehigh County.

Focus Areas of the 2023-24 Budget:

The final budget is a culmination of the budget process which began back in the fall.  The focus for this budget has been on 5 areas:  

  1. Safety – A top priority, the budget includes additional funding in safety and security expenditures for professional services and technology as well as personnel who will support all aspects of Parkland’s network and cyber security protection. This area also includes new school bus purchases that will maintain the industry standard for the average age of Parkland’s school bus fleet.

  2. Students and Educational Programs – Parkland continues to invest in research-proven methods to identify and remove barriers to learning for all students.  This includes an emphasis on providing support for struggling students to close achievement gaps.  

  3. Growth and Future Planning – As Parkland continues to be one of the fastest- growing areas in Pennsylvania, the District has been communicating with students, staff and community members about forecasted growth, and options to address it.  The District conducted a feasibility study that took full inventory of square footage and capacity in every district facility and paired the analysis with planned housing projects.  Utilizing enrollment trend software, a comprehensive analysis is helping Parkland plan for building additions, renovations and/or new facilities that will solve capacity issues while maintaining or enhancing Parkland’s educational programs.

  4. Debt Service - Careful consideration of debt management is critical in accomplishing goals to address growth and maintain facilities. The District’s excellent credit rating and refinancing strategy has helped phase in new debt service with minimal impact to the overall debt service budget and fund a one-time $5M transfer to the Capital Reserve Fund to help limit the impact of new debt service on the General Fund Budget in future years.  This is especially important as the District predicts it will need to construct a new building to manage growth in enrollment.

  5. Fund Balance Appropriation – Due to careful planning of ESSER funding, the strength of our local revenue/real estate, and historical financial planning, the District is able to use $4,467,809 of Fund Balance to balance the budget, thus minimizing the tax impact necessary to balance this year’s budget.

Key Financial Points

  • Parkland real estate value is increasing but has started to slow compared to recent years – the updated total taxable assessed value from Lehigh County as of April 2023 is valued at $9,005,231,800, an increase of almost $165,270,500 as compared to the current year.  One mill of property tax is projected to produce $9,005,232.

  • The budget includes a Board-endorsed plan for capital improvement projects that includes the continuing renovations and additions at Schnecksville and Kratzer Elementary Schools, upgrades to HVAC systems, replacement of flooring, LED light retrofits, and concrete work at various facilities this summer as well as the construction of a new operations center that is due to open in the Fall of 2024.  

  • The average residential assessed value is $247,502.  Residential Taxpayers represent 62% of Parkland’s tax base with 22,400 residential properties. 1,689 are commercial/industrial/agricultural properties making up 37% of the tax base.  In total, there are 25,369 taxable properties.

  • The allowable Act 1 Index is 4.1%.  Parkland’s Proposed Final Budget includes a 2.5% increase.

  • Parkland has not raised taxes to the allowable Index in the last 7 years.  

Superintendent Dr. Mark Madson noted, “Investing in our students and curriculum is Parkland’s primary mission, however the District also needs to continue to invest in its facilities and plan for future growth to preserve its educational programs.  This budget represents the most essential educational needs of students while considering our current economic climate, our future growth concerns, and the ability and willingness of our community to support a quality, comprehensive educational program.  I appreciate the complex planning process and thank all the departments within our organization who have contributed to budget deliberations. Additionally, statewide reform is needed.  As mandated costs increase at a pace that far outperforms state funding, it endangers Parkland’s ability to fund programs, operational costs, maintenance of our facilities and options to address continued growth in our community.  We invited our local and state legislators to Parkland on June 1st to share our concerns and advocate for them to pass funding formula reforms that will help ease the burden on local taxpayers who continue to shoulder increasing mandated Special Education costs and Charter School tuition payments.”

For more information related to the school budget, please view our Summer Parkland District Newsletter here.

Please address any questions or comments to Leslie Frisbie, Director of Business Administration, at

Additional Budget Documents:
2021-2022 Proposed Budget Detail (internal document)