Direc­tors OK early bud­get

Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - Natalya Bu­cuy

Jour­nal Reg­is­ter News

Ser­vice The Cen­ten­nial School Board ap­proved the pre­lim­i­nary bud­get for 2013-2014 school year in the amount of $102,036,170 at the last board meet­ing Feb. 12.

Ac­cord­ing to board mem­ber Michael Hartline, since the board re­viewed the bud­get two weeks ago the fi­nance com­mit­tee was able to elim­i­nate an­other $1 mil­lion from the district ex­pen­di­tures. As the board ap­proved the pre­lim­i­nary bud­get the ex­pen­di­ture amounts can now de­cline, but can­not in­crease dur­ing the rest of the bud­getary process.

In the cur­rent pre­lim­i­nary bud­get the district faces a $2,256,216 GH­fiFLW. ,I WKH EuGJHW is left as-is, a home­owner with a prop­erty as­sessed at the district av­er­age of $26,400 would see a 3.67 per­cent in­crease in real es­tate taxes, which would equate to a $112 in­crease.

Dur­ing the meet­ing the board also ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion that urges state au­thor­i­ties to “con­sider the cre­ation of a hy­brid pen­sion sys­tem con­sist­ing of GHfinHG EHnH­fiW DnG GHfinHG con­tri­bu­tion for school em­ploy­ees as a po­ten­tial so­lu­tion, with­out trans­fer­ring the bur­den to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

The re­quest for a pen­sion sys­tem re­form as Cen­ten­nial, among other Penn­syl­va­nia dis­tricts, is strug­gling to fol­low the re­quire­ments within the cur­rent pen­sion sys­tem.

“It’s some­thing that needs to be done,” said board Pres­i­dent An­drew Pol­lock, call­ing on other school dis­tricts to fol­low the ex­am­ple and send sim­i­lar let­ters to mem­bers of the state Congress to ad­dress the pen­sion re­form is­sues.

State man­dated pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions play a ma­jor role in the in­creas­ing ex­penses, Hartline said.

The state in­creased the con­tri­bu­tion re­quire­ment to the pub­lic school re­tir­ing em­ploy­ees by 16.84 per­cent for next year, which equates to $2.5 mil­lion for Cen­ten­nial an amount that alone ex­ceed the al­lowed Act 1 in­dex, Hartline said.

With­out a pen­sion re­form, in four years the district’s con­tri­bu­tion to the pen­sion plan will in­crease by 30 per­cent, which es­sen­tially will mean hav­ing two pay­rolls in the district – one for em­ployed teach­ers and one for the pen­sion con­tri­bu­tion, Hartline said.

7KH finDO DSSrRvDO RI WKH EuGget is sched­uled for June.

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