Feb. 10 Summary
The Perkiomen Valley School District Board of Directors approved a proposed preliminary budget for the 2014-15 school year at the Feb. 10 business meeting, recognizing that much work will need to continue in order to reduce the gap between expenditures and revenues prior to final budget adoption in June.
Per the requirements of Act 1, the Pennsylvania Taxpayer Relief Act, school boards must adopt a proposed preliminary budget in June if they do not pass a resolution stating that they will maintain a tax increase that is at or below the Act 1 index. The index is the annual tax cap set by the state each year. This year’s Act 1 index is 2.5 percent.
The proposed preliminary budget adopted last night totals $96,905,606 and included a proposed 6.38-percent tax increase to make up for the projected shortfall of $3,937,915. Both Board members and Business Administrator Jim Weaver were quick to note that there is no intention to adopt a final budget with a 6.38-percent tax increase.
Work has been ongoing to continue to look for ways to increase revenues and decrease expenditures. Adjustments were made to total salaries and benefits and other expenses as listed on slide 57 of the presentation (see chart below for link), resulting in a reduction of approximately $2 million.
Mr. Weaver also spoke about the impact of Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget, which includes additional money for education. However, he noted that he is not counting on those funds given the changes that could happen between now and when the state’s final budget is adopted.
The district’s contribution to the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) continues to be a significant financial concern. The contribution rate is set to increase by 26.4 percent – this increase will cost the district $1.7 million, which is more than the amount the district can generate through the Act I index tax levy of 2.5 percent.
One bright spot in the budget presentation was the announcement that the district will save approximately $652,000 through the refinancing of a series of bonds, which occurred during the same meeting. To read more about that, click here.
The administration is currently working on a list of proposed reductions to present for considerations. The next scheduled budget presentation will be on April 14, 2014.
Jan. 13 Summary
Some small changes to the 2014-15 Perkiomen Valley School District budget were noted during a budget presentation at the Jan. 13 School Board meeting, and much work still remains in order to close the approximately $5.8 million gap between revenues and expenditures.
Jim Weaver, Business Administrator, noted once again the impact that the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement (PSERS) payments will have on the district, stressing that the increase to pay for retirement benefits alone exceeds what the district would bring in if it raised taxes to the index rate of 2.5 percent.
The district is awaiting the Governor’s budget proposal in early February. Following that presentation, the administration and School Board will have a better understanding of anticipated state revenue and how that could further affect budget planning. At the Jan. 13 meeting, the School Board opted not to pass a resolution to keep the 2014-15 tax increase to the index, and will therefore have to approve a proposed preliminary budget on Feb. 10, 2014, per Act 1 requirements. Final budget adoption will not occur until June.
Finance Committee meetings coming up on Jan. 30 and Feb. 27 will also be significant in the budget planning process. The finance team continues to work toward additional savings through a second refunding opportunity, and will also explore options for additional revenue sources and expenditure reductions via a town hall meeting to be scheduled in the near future.
For further questions about the 2014-15 budget, please contact Business Administrator Jim Weaver at email@example.com.
Dec. 9 Budget SummaryThe 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.
|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||Presentation|
|February 10, 2014||School Board Meeting||Budget presentation and Board votes to adopt proposed preliminary budget||Presentation
PDE-2028 Preliminary General Fund Budget
|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:
- Another Succesful Refinancing to Result in Over $917,000 in Savings
- 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)