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Parkland Budget Gets Preliminary Vote Tuesday

It's a necessary first step in the budget process that won't be completed until June.

Parkland School District's 2013-14 preliminary budget is slated for a vote by the Board of Education at next Tuesday night's meeting.

Business Administration Director John Vignone and Superintendent of Schools Richard Sniscak briefed members of the board's Education & Athletics Committee on the status of the budget during a Tuesday morning committee meeting.

Vignone told the the committee that $1.498 million must be eliminated from the 2013-14 budget so that it remains within the allowable Act 1 index, plus exceptions. That would represent a preliminary 4.35 millage increase.

"It's full of uncertainty right now. We exceed where we can be," Vignone said. "We have a lot of work to do, using fund balance, retirements and other things."

Sniscak was quick to inform committee members that the millage increase seen in the preliminary budget is not the increase expected when the final budget is presented and passed in June.

"In this economy, that's not what we can support," he said. "It's a balance between what we need to support us and the ability of the taxpaying public to afford it."

Vignone said pension reforms, as proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett, will be a very big part of the budget.

Vignone pointed out that the governor's basic education funding for Parkland represents a 3.7 percent increase, which he called the largest increase in any Lehigh County school district.

He also stated that millage rated came down during the recent Lehigh County reassessment process.

The preliminary budget of $145.7 million is a 5.76 percent increase over the 2012-13 budget of $137.7 million.

Vignone stated that salaries and employee benefits accounted for the biggest percent change.

Last year, the Parkland school board unanimously approved a $137.8 million budget Tuesday night that raised taxes 3.67 percent, froze teacher salaries and cut 60 teacher and staff positions.

The district's millage increased 1.46 mills, from 39.73 mills to 41.19 mills.

John February 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM
This is simply a joke. Taxpayers can no longer continue paying for the failure of PSD to continue at its present rate. The are no unicorns and no rainbows with pots of gold sitting there waiting fo this administration to make yet another blunder. If teachers want to strike, let them strike. Sitting at home not collecting a paycheck might do them some good. NOBODY is seeing a 5.67% increase in this economy..NOBODY! If necessary, I STRONGLY suggest the Board hire their own negotiator to deal with professional negotiators from the other side. Exactly how do you layoff 60 employees, yet still need a 6% increase? You do it by the cutting of employees in the press, and then hire 50 of them back throughout the year. This is a joke, and the gravy train from the taxpayer is OVER! Come take my home!

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