2017-18 Budget Information

 

Date of Presentation / Link

Budgets Presented / Board Action

(Schedule is subject to change)

Highlights

(Highlights will be posted after the meeting has concluded with major items that were presented/discussed at the Meeting)

November 16

Debt, Warehouse/Transportation, Comprehensive Plan, Building Budgets

  • Increase in Charter Schools budget is due to increased enrollment in those schools and increased cost per student. Currently, the District pays $16,140 for a Non-special Education student and $36,612 for a Special Education Student for each student who attends a Charter School. Continual efforts are made to contact families of students choosing charter schools to explore options within our schools including our own Palisades Cyber Academy.
  • Comprehensive Plan budget included a funding request for: mobile wireless hotspots for our students who do not have internet access at home; Restorative Practice training for all staff, training staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid; continuing the Leadership Facilitator to assist students in finding and completing mandatory volunteer service; and continuing the Wellness initiatives throughout the District including relationship development/mentoring programs and after school activities for students.
  • 2017-2018 is the first year the District will no longer pay Easton Area School District for the Riegelsville transfer since 2013-2014, allowing a decrease in Debt Service expenditures of $350,000.

December 5

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

  • Equipment budget included technology and music equipment purchases along with a new dump truck to replace the current 1994 dump truck.
  • Administration Budget included a software upgrade to enhance the reporting and search capabilities for School Board agendas and minutes on our Web site. Also included in the budget presentation were an increase in General Liability Insurance and an increase to upgrade copiers throughout the District.
  • Fund Balance monies would be designated to purchase devices for the One to One Initiative for our students. For more information on the One to One Initiative, please visit this site click here.
  • There is a projected increase in our Special Education costs due to mandated services the District provides to students.

December 21

Educational Support, Salary, Benefits, Revenue

  • Educational Support, as well as any anticipated grants received and expenses associated with those grants increased by $38,056. (Please note that the revenue received from grants and the associated expenses offset one another do not affect any tax increases.) Expenses for educational support 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.
  • A salary increase of $414,751 for contractual increases is budgeted for teaching staff, support staff and administrators. Also included in this line item is the cost for our substitutes through Source4Teachers. Overall, there is a 2.2% increase in salaries from the 2016-2017 budget.
  • The budget includes a benefit increase of $910,810 due to an increase in the state mandated PSERS rate increase of eligible salaries from 30.03% to 32.57%. We have also budgeted for an estimated 7% increase in health insurance.
  • Revenues are projected to increase by 1.91% with the largest increase coming from state revenues and more specifically the state reimbursement of 50% of mandated retirement expenses.

December 21

Preliminary Budget / Resolution not to Exceed the Act 1 Index

  • The School Board passed the Resolution not to Exceed the Act 1 Index of 2.5%

Summary of Budget Process 12/21/16:

The net result of the budget items presented to the Board reflects a preliminary overall deficit of $1,406,849. This is the worst case scenario as it relates to projected school spending and revenues for the 2017-2018 school year. By passing the resolution at Wednesday's (12/21/16) School Board Meeting, the Board has limited the tax increase for the 2017-2018 school year to 2.5%. 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 2017-2018 school year cannot be more than 2.5% (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 School 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.

May 3

PDE 2028

Proposed Budget

  • The School Board approved a Proposed Final Budget with a 2% tax increase as a "worst-case" scenario (millage increase of 2.244 mills for a new millage rate of 114.484 mills). This would result in a real estate tax increase of roughly $76.92 to the average homeowner (calculated on the current median household assessed value of $34,280). That calculated increase may still be adjusted to a lower rate; it cannot exceed this amount as an average.
  • The allowable increase for the Palisades School District set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education was 2.5% or 2.806 mills.
  • The biggest driving force behind the expenditure budget increase is an increase in State mandated retirement costs of more than $579,000, State mandated Charter School increases totaling $112,750 and increases in Special Education costs in the amount of $272,472.
  • The Fiscal Committee will review the budget one more time (May 15, 9 a.m. in District Office) with the hopes of reducing the budget.
  • Final Budget is scheduled for a vote by the School Board on June 7.

June 7

PDE 2028

Final Budget
  • The board passed the Final Budget for 2017-18 that included a tax increase of 0.94% or 1.06 mills to 113.3 mils in real estate taxes.
  • This increase is approximately $32.50 for the average assessed value at $33,990.
  • The final budget for the 2017-18 school year does not include any reductions in programs or services for Palisades' students.
  • This is the fourth year the School Board will use funds from the Retirement Spike Fund (a savings for increasing retirement expenses) to cover a significant increase in retirement contributions, topping more than 32% 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 retirement rates.
  • Other funded projects for the 2017-18 school year include: supporting our one to one initiative with Chromebooks for all students in grades 6-12, upgrade HVAC controls at Durham Nockamixon, phone system upgrades, The implementation of a new elementary curriculum reading program and additional security upgrades for all buildings.
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