Parkland Press

Monday, August 19, 2019

Parkland board approves 2019-20 proposed budget

Thursday, June 13, 2019 by The Press in Local News

According to information provided by the Parkland School District, the proposed general fund budget for the 2019-20 school year in the amount of $186,470,379 was approved by school directors, during the May 21 board meeting.

The news release states the balanced budget includes positive trending of the district’s total assessed valuation, which drives a higher dollar value per mill and increased revenues.

The proposed budget represents an increase of .29 mills or 1.88 percent for a total mill rate of 15.71.

At that rate, a home with a $100,000 assessed valuation would realize a tax increase of $29 for the year.

For the median assessed home in Parkland valued at $228,300, the tax increase would be $66.21 for the year.

Also of note is the value of the Homestead/Farmstead gaming credit projected to be $110 per approved property which helps offset the tax increase.

Key points of the 2019-20 proposed budget are:

• The board endorsed a seventh year of capital improvement projects in January as work continues on Veterans Memorial Elementary School, scheduled to open in fall 2020.

Renovations at Schnecksville Elementary School will begin this summer and roofing projects, school bus and technology purchases have been approved for the coming school year.

• Cyber charter school funding continues to add stress to public school budgets and Parkland is no exception.

Parkland total tuition costs paid to cyber charter schools has increased from approximately $1.19 M in 2014-15 to $1.7 M in 2018-19.

The formula is based on school district expenditures with no relation to actual instructional costs.

Not one Pennsylvania charter school earned a passing grade during the five years of state-issued school performance profile scores and last year, most of the state-sponsored cyber schools placed in the bottom 5 percent for educational performance.

• The proposed general fund budget includes a $6,386,426 appropriation of fund balance which equates to .80 mills to balance the budget.

• As of May 21, 1 mill of property tax is projected to produce $7,974,538 at a 97 percent collection rate.

• Last year’s (2018-19) budget required a tax increase of 1.92 percent totaling 15.42 mills with a total budget of $179,349,218.

“This budget represents the most essential educational needs of students while considering our current economic climate and the ability and willingness of our community to support a quality, comprehensive educational program,” Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak noted. “I appreciate the complex planning process and thank all of the departments within our organization who have contributed to budget deliberations.

“All the while, we focused on controlling expenditures while striving to raise the bar for student achievement.”