2016-17 Budget Information

November 18Building Budgets, Comprehensive Plan, Warehouse/Transportation, Debt


  • Due to timing, Warehouse and Transportation will be pushed back to December 7, 2015.

  • All five building budgets decreased due to drop in projected enrollment for 2016-2017.

  • Increase in Charter Schools budget is due to increased enrollment and increased cost per student that attends a Charter School. Currently, the District pays $14,723 for a Non-special Education student and $32,541 for a Special Education Student. Continual efforts are made to contact families of students choosing charter schools to explore options within our schools.

  • Comprehensive Plan budget included a funding request for: Chromebook cart for each building, Restorative Practice training for all staff, training staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid, continuing the Leadership Facilitator to assist student in volunteer work, introduction of expanded communications tools and continue Wellness initiatives throughout the District.

December 7Buildings and Grounds, Capital Projects, Equipment, Other Education, Administration


  • Warehouse and Transportation budget decreased by $12,784 due to a projected decrease in Special Education transportation costs
  • Increase to the Administration budget of $47,000 that includes a formal Demographic Study and increase to contracted software costs of the District

  • Decrease of $30,538 in Special Education costs for mandated services for our students

  • Increase of $21,190 to Buildings and Grounds budget mainly due to an increase in electric rates from our electric company

  • Increase in Capital Projects budget due to the roof replacement at Springfield Elementary at a cost of $600,000

December 16Educational Support, Salary, Benefits, Revenue


  • Educational Support, including costs for Technology, as well as any anticipated grants received, and the expenses associated with these grants decreased by $22,767. These expenses cover all of the costs incurred in providing a rigorous curriculum for our students, and include the costs associated with our expanded use of technology in the classroom as part of our commitment to the Future Ready District Pledge.
  • Salary increase of $687,115 for contractual increases for Teaching staff, Support staff and Administrators. Also included in this line item is the cost for our Substitutes through Source4Teachers. This is a 3.75% increase from the 2015-2016 budget.
  • Benefit increase of $1,226,891 due to an increase in state mandated PSERS rate increase of eligible salaries from 25.84% to 30.03% and an estimated 10% increase in health insurance.
  • Revenues are projected to increase by 0.17% with the largest increase coming from State revenues and more specifically the state reimbursement of 50% of mandated Retirement expenses.

December 16Resolution not to Exceed the Act 1 Index

  • School Board unanimously passed the Resolution not to Exceed the Act 1 Index of 2.4%

Summary of Budget Process 12/16/15:

  • The net result of the budget items presented to the Board reflects a preliminary overall deficit of $1,818,255. This is the worst case scenario as it relates to projected school spending and revenues for the 2016-2017 school year. By passing the resolution at Wednesday's (12/16/15) School Board Meeting, the Board has limited the tax increase for the 2016-2017 school year to 2.4%. There has been no determination what the tax increase will be by the time the Final Budget is approved in June, however, an increase for the 2016-17 school year cannot be more than 2.4% (our district's Act 1 index as specified by the PA Department of Education). There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done on this budget by the Board and Administration between now and when the final budget is passed in June. Costs will be trimmed while balancing our ability to provide the best possible education for all of our students.


Proposed Final Budget:

Budget Presentation Handouts


  • The School Board approved a Proposed Final Budget with a 0.9% tax increase (millage increase of 1.0 mills for a new millage rate of 112.24 mills). This is a real estate tax increase of $34.18 to the average homeowner (calculated on the current median household assessed value of $34,180).
  • The allowable increase for the Palisades School District set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education was 2.4% or 2.66 mills. Excellent fiscal management and budget control has allowed our proposed final budget to fall well below the allowable increase from PDE.
  • An increase in cost of retirement benefits alone totaled more than $800,000; reductions in other areas of the budget helped to offset this unfunded mandate we are required to cover.
  • Final Budget is scheduled for a vote by the School Board on June 1.

Final Budget:


PDE 2028

  • The board passed the Final Budget for 2016-17 that included a tax increase of 0.9% or 1 mil to 112.24 mils in real estate taxes.
  • This increase will amount to approximately $33.90 for the average household assessed at $34,180.
  • The final budget for the 2016-17 school year did not include any reductions in staff or in programs and services at Palisades.
  • This is the 3rd year the School Board will use funds from the Retirement Spike Fund to cover a significant increase in retirement contributions, topping more than 30% of eligible salaries; all school districts across the state have been facing this problem. These funds are being utilized to slowly build up rates and not overburden taxpayers with high spikes in the rates.
  • 2016-17 is the first year of the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan (2016 through 2019). The funds slated in the approved budget are targeted towards expanded community engagement initiatives and technology improvements for students and staff. The budget requested for Comprehensive Plan is $63,450.
  • Other funded projects for next year include a new boiler ($95,000) and a new roof ($600,000) for Springfield Elementary; also, teachers will receive new, upgraded laptops at a cost of $112,000.


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