Parkland Press

Saturday, May 30, 2020

District provides budget update

Thursday, March 12, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Parkland School District Business Manager John Vignone provided an update on the 2020-21 budget to the board during the Feb. 25 board meeting.

He explained budget preparation is an ongoing project with numbers that are always fluid.

Vignone stated the administration is often working on two or three budgets at a time, as one school term ends, another begins, and preparation has to be underway for the succeeding year.

For 2020-21, Vignone is projecting revenues of $188,613,717 and expenditures of $194,421,476.

The delta, or amount needed to balance income and expenses, is $5,807,759.

By looking for additional sources of revenue and striving to decrease costs, Vignone expects to close the gap and arrive at a balanced budget.

“We have two months to refine these numbers before the budget seminar on May 1,” said the business manager.

He noted about 75 percent of the district budget goes toward salaries and employee benefits. He forecasts a slight reduction in these categories due to attrition.

“We gain additional savings as retirees at higher salaries are replaced with employees at lower salaries,” Vignone said.

He noted the costs of special education and payments to cyber-charter schools represent 11 percent of the total increase.

“We need $5.2 million for tuition for cyber-charter schools,” Vignone said. “We’ve always been trying to catch up but always need more money in the budget for it.”

He explained the millage increase for 2020-21 can be no higher than 2.6 percent or 0.40, according to the Pennsylvania Act 1 index.

The current rate of 15.71 mills cannot increase above 16.11 mills.

For every $100,000 of assessed property value, the millage increase would be $40 at the 16.11 rate.

For the average Parkland property assessed at $226,989, the increase would be $90.80.

Vignone noted Parkland has a senior citizen tax rebate program for low-income property owners.