The formal budget process began on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, with the first full presentation of both revenues and expenditures for the 2014-15 school year. Business administrator Jim Weaver briefed the Perkiomen Valley School District Board of Directors on the various factors affecting next year’s budget, which is estimated to be approximately $98,922,326.
Mr. Weaver cautioned that it is still very early in the process of preparing a budget, and both the district’s revenues and expenditures will change in the coming months. Major areas of change for next year’s budget include salary and health insurance increases, as well as increases in the areas of special education and transportation. Three proposed changes to personnel could also have an impact on the district’s expenditures. The Dec. 9 presentation included a recommendation to increase two existing positions from part-time to full-time (the athletic department secretary and the teacher-on-special assignment for math curriculum) and to broaden the responsibilities of the graduation project/career study coordinator. These changes, if approved by the School Board, would add $71,271 into next year’s budget.
The largest impact on the district’s expenditures, however, continues to be rising employer contribution rates to the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System (PSERS). The contribution rate will increase from 16.93 percent to 21.25 percent (a 25.52-percent increase over last year), leading to a $1.9 million increase. This gross increase is more than what Perkiomen Valley will be able to generate through the Act 1 index of 2.5 percent. The index is the tax cap set by the state each year. Districts may not exceed it unless they are granted exceptions from the state for certain costs that increase above the rate of inflation, or unless they seek approval from voters to raise taxes above the index.
Many of the aforementioned expenses are dictated by the state or by established contracts, leaving the district with limited options for controlling costs. Complicating matters is the fact that the district continues to see very slow growth on the revenue side of the budget. Overall, revenues are expected to increase by just .73 percent from last year, to a total of $93,052,549. This figure could also change, depending upon the governor’s proposed budget, which is expected to be released in February.
At this very early stage, the shortfall that exists is approximately $5.9 million. To close the gap, a 9.55-percent increase in real estate taxes would be required. The Board and administration will continue to work diligently to reduce this proposed increase over the next several months, and consider the use of fund balance, the impact that two successful refundings may have on the budget, the use of exclusions from the state, what the district’s personnel needs will be for the coming school year, and how employee retirements could affect the budget.
The next budget presentation will take place on Jan. 13, 2014. The School Board will have to vote on a proposed preliminary budget, as required by Act 1, on Feb. 10, 2014. The district is required by law to pass a budget each year by June 30. For further questions about the 2014-15 budget, please contact Business Administrator Jim Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Important Dates in the 2014-2015 Budget Process|
|Date||Meeting||Topic||Click on Link to View Presentation|
|November 11, 2013||School Board Meeting||Review of 2014-15 revenues||Presentation|
|December 9, 2013||School Board Meeting||Comprehensive budget presentation for 2014-15||Presentation|
|January 13, 2014||School Board Meeting||Presentation of 2014-15 Proposed Preliminary Budget||N/A|
|February 10, 2014||School Board Meeting||Budget presentation and Board votes to adopt proposed preliminary budget||N/A|
|May 5, 2014||School Board Work Session||Budget presentation and Board votes to adopt proposed final budget||N/A|
|June 19, 2014||School Board Meeting||Board approves final budget for 2014-15||N/A|
Additional Budget Information:
- District Saves More than $112,000 Through Consortium
- District Refinances More Bonds to Save Over $1M
- District Refinances Bonds to Save Over $1M
- PASBO budget timeline
- District Saves Over $600,000 Through Refinancing of Bonds
- District Commended by Secretary of Education Following Audits
- Independent Auditor's Report for the 2010-11 School Year
- 2013-14 Budget Information
- 2012-13 Budget Information
- 2011-12 Budget Information
- 2010-2011 Budget Information
- 2010-2011 Budget Expense Information
- 2009-2010 Budget Information
- Budget Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)