Parkland Could Cut Staff, Raise Taxes To Help Balance Budget

Parkland School District could face a tax increase, staff reductions to help balance a $145.7 million preliminary 2013-2014 budget.

The Parkland School Board approved a $145.7 million preliminary budget for the 2013-2014 school year at its Tuesday meeting.

Although the preliminary budget includes a 5.82 percent tax increase, raising millage to 14.36, Superintendent Richard Sniscak and Business Administration Director John Vignone emphasized the increase was merely a "starting point" and would be lower when the final budget is passed in June.

"My hope is to bring forth a budget in May that includes a lower increase than the 4.35 percent that is allowed under Act 1," Sniscak said, "but given the uncertainties that exist in state and federal funding at this time, it would be irresponsible to recommend a lower increase until more information becomes available."

Sniscak said more staff cuts are planned for the coming year, "causing class sizes to increase and course/program offerings and organizational oversight to be diminished."

He said the district will seek a wage freeze for support staff this year.

Sniscak said the district faced a $9.59 million deficit last fall, although less than the $16 million deficit of the previous year, nonetheless it "is still quite a challenge and not a desirable situation."

Expenses are expected to increase 5.76 percent over the 2012-2013 budget, largely due to increases in salaries and benefits.

On the revenue side, Vignone said he was "cautiously optimistic" that earned income tax would generate about $200,000 and that real estate transfers are doing well. "People still want to move in" to the school district, he said.

A $3.5 million fund balance is projected.




SWT Resident February 20, 2013 at 01:52 PM
"increases in salaries and benefits". Geee...imagine that! Why is it that 68% of the public sector hasn't seen an "increase in salaries and benefits" in years, in order to afford others increases in salaries and benefits? There is just something entirely wrong with the manner in which public education is funded in this Commonwealth. I pity the fixed income elderly home owner who sees a 5+% increase in property taxes just from the school district alone...not to mention the township, the county, health care, etc. And they have to cover that with a 1.7% increase in SS payments? Where is all this promised casino cash to help us offset tax increases? Slowly but surely property taxes by school districts are moving to a gentrification system whereas only the rich can afford to own a home. The local middle class will be living in section 8 housing sooner or later. The writing is on the wall. Saturday's paper will be filled with 200 homes up for sheriffs sale every week instead of the usual 100. Yes...the outlook in PA is real good...real good indeed.
Latrisha Oswald February 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM
We have been fortunate enough to have wonderful teachers for our children. I only have high praise for the elementary school they attend. But, I am one of the many people in the public sector who have not seen a salary increase in years at the same time my benefits have been decreased. When our household budget has to be cut once again to pay for these increases, where do we go to strike? Who do we pass our increased costs to? That's right, no one. Guess I just have to be patient for our raise or 401k benefits to be restored. Too bad we don't have off the entire summer to work on this problem that affects way too many families.
Kim February 20, 2013 at 04:12 PM
So let me get this straight...we get to pay more money for bigger class sizes and disminished course options. Sounds like a great deal! Who the heck can feel cautiously optimistic? The whole thing stinks! These guys are freakin clueless!
Parkland Parent February 20, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Very sad state of affairs in these times. Often the public employees and associated salaries and benefits are targeted, the unions negotiated this and the districts agreed. I will never under value a teacher as in my opinion they have the most important job on the planet and are never paid enough. The Parkland school district is starting to become unattractive, great schools with plenty of wonderful educators, but the larger class sizes and lack of support will begin to have an effect on the entire system and all schools and all ages, regardless of your child's level. 30+ in an elementary class is unacceptable. Rumor has it another HUGE re-district is in the works for the Middle Schools and all Elementary schools. Plenty of money in this district, I would pay more for class sizes to remain at acceptable levels. I know not everyone can. Sad that the kids of today in Parkland will never have what the kids of yesterday did. We all, teachers, administrators and residents need to compromise to offer the best for our kids and the community at large. In addition, I understand the EIT and real estate taxes/transfers help, but SERIOUSLY, the building is WAY out of CONTROL.
perfect square February 20, 2013 at 04:53 PM
make parents pay a higher percentage of taxes per kid, you send more than 2 to Parkland you pay 50% fee per kid on top of your property taxes, you rent you pay an appropriate fee to match your residence and charge for bus service, $180 a year seems like a good starting point, a dollar a day
perfect square February 20, 2013 at 04:54 PM
the kids today are spoiled..... I went to parkland High when it did not have air conditioning in the 80s and when teachers could beat the kids with paddles
Kim February 20, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I don't agree with you people who say just pay more. You are crazy. Can we balance a budget and get our money's worth? Don't tell me that the only solution is to increase class size etc...bull...We need a professional negotiator to deal with these unions. I have 4 kids in the Parkland system. I can't say that I'm all that impressed. I would move in a heart beat if I could afford to!
SWT Resident February 20, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Kim....these admin guys are clueless because they make over $100,000+ a year with full pension, bennies, etc. Many don't have a clue what it is like to decide what gets paid every week when there isn't enough money in the budget to pay everything. They are too busy waxing their boats in their 3 car driveways on a sunny Saturday. Same goes for our elected officials...very disconnected from the taxpayers plights. I knew sooner or later this fight was coming to our school district. Now we'll see what happens; do the members of the board begin the decay of our township by scaring residents off with yearly tax increases? Or do they, and our elected officials, finally grow a set of ba11s and tell the teachers, the unions, and the admins you can't keep driving taxpayers into bankruptcy or you will have nothing left to pay your salaries. Because that is exactly what is going to happen over the next few years before the pension explosion happens in 2015/16.
SWT Resident February 20, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Hey Parkland Parent...I can appreciate your post. However...the average income of the average family in Parkland school district has peaked and is now descending. This is very bad timing. I don't know where you say "plenty of money in this district"...it certainly isn't in my 3 bedroom 2 car garage ranch home part of the district. In fact less than 15% of my neighbors saw a raise in the last 5 years. The few that did: teachers, a nurse or two, a UPS driver, and a cop. Note that ALL of these are represented by unions. And the largest raises...they were borne by the teachers and the cop who are direct taxpayer funded. Go figure. So while you are offering to pay more...how about I send my district tax bill your way and you take care of it for me. I don't have children and when the taxes were affordable I went with the flow. Now I think its time that if a man and woman want to have children...they should consider the costs that the taxpayer has to carry to educate THEIR kids. Or...don't have them.
mark wood February 20, 2013 at 06:23 PM
go back to sleep, you the sheeple voter you will not notice a thing, I didn't forget the 1 million you took for expences, and another increase before that.? For 25 years I have worked in my small business, you worked hard for this " F" in business and economics,.Do you teach this style of business and economics in Parkland? It will be no wonder the next gen-whatever citizens will fail in life. I talk you folks up across this nation, believe it or not, you are a joke. Math skills seem to be the consensus.
mark wood February 20, 2013 at 06:27 PM
someone needs to run against these folks, they only have a certain agenda in mind, it is not you the tax payer, If you can't see it in front of your face, you are asleep..
SWT Resident February 20, 2013 at 06:28 PM
I agree 110%. As I said on another post...a man and woman should consider the costs of education before just banging out a row of kids. At about, what...$18,000 a year per kid I think I saw for Parkland...some parents make less than that in a year working but their 3 kids still get to go to school. And for free too. I understand it is a Constitutional right and responsibility for the public to provide for an education. But where does it say the taxpayer is also to provide top wages, a lifetime pension, premium health care, and ongoing con ed for the providers of the education? Oh yeah, it doesn't say that in the Commonwealth Constitution, does it. Just as it doesn't say our elected officials get the same thing as the providers of education. Geee...they granted (or negotiated) that all themselves WITHOUT the taxpayers ok. And people WONDER WHY we are going broke! Its called: free bee extras.
SWT Resident February 20, 2013 at 06:36 PM
And Kim...I agree with you 110%. One of my neighbors just pulled his house off the market after a year under contact. He got a few good offers near his asking price of slightly less than $200,000 (house is very nice and well worth it). The one family that was prepared to made the highest offer...one of the first questions they asked before they did was how much are your school taxes? The potential buyers surmised that since the school taxes were considered average...Parkland is ripe for year over year continuous tax increases which would drive the value of the home down. They pulled out at the last minute. All the other offers were just not that exciting for my neighbor. He figured he might as well wait it out and leave the house to his kids in his will. So if anyone is getting out...get out this year or next or you won't have an easy time selling after the next 2-3 years. As I said...this is the beginning of school district gentrification...only the rich will be able to afford to own a home. if you want to live in Parkland School District...you will pay for it.
careless fills February 23, 2013 at 04:17 AM
You really have to wonder what kind of stunt the PSD administration and school board are playing with the preliminmary budget that they approved on Tuesday. OK, we understand that they asked PDE to approve an additional 2.65% of special exceptions above the normal 1.7% increase cap allowed by the index under Act 1, resulting in an increase of 4.35%, which is more than double the index. But why in the world did they go ahead and pass a budget with 5.82% increase? Clearly they can't get that - even if it was possible (which I doubt that it would be), they didn't ask for it, and you can;t get what you don't ask for. So, if it's not incompetence, there has to be some political maneuvering going on here. What are the going to put on someone else? Or will they use this to try to horse around with fictitious cuts to try to make themselves look good? Time will tell and stuff will smell.
mark wood February 23, 2013 at 01:57 PM
legal thiefs are still thiefs, they use the corrupt system to justify stealing, this kind of stealing can never be brought to justice, I hope you are happy with yourselfs, electing people who have only one thing on their mind, others money, because they can't balance a bidget without taking from the taxpayer, a.k.a. the new check book, that never runs out. Respect this group? are you out of your mind, no prayers for you jerks, you don't pray for losers. I can balance your books, but your not interested in that, you just want it all, no matter what, you demand the sheeple pay. So pay sheeple, pay.....I will support private schools , cyber schools and any other schooling that defeats the NEA system of deception, SEIU and the rest? Hay look, it is a knucklehead running for school board, can't add, can't subtract, thinks they know how, but they never will, quick, elect them, they will make my wallet fatter. Is any outside source have the time to look into the book keeping of PSD? Why would they, they help the system embelish them too.... what we need here is an outside audit. what a dreamer I am... Hats of to the state for ignoring this districts double books.
careless fills February 24, 2013 at 03:43 PM
something isn't quite right here
mark wood February 24, 2013 at 04:00 PM
damn right somethings wrong, NEVER AUDIT PSD< ITS ALL OK!!!!!!!!snakes, who worships at the church of satan, and his money tower
mark wood February 24, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I am a Certified Environmentalist, state certified,(ret) you who live in cetain areas are living in brown field areas, formaly known as super fund clean up sites, thats the only pleasure I get out of you tax,tax, tax liberals. live in your brown field, when your eyes glow and your new borns have webed feet, just raise taxes, all is well. and blame somebody. but raise taxes, thats your answer. sorry for facts, hope you enjoy your arsenic, lead, ddt, infested area neighborhood. and be sure to raise taxes..you refuse to listen, so enjoy your brown field. The casinos are on brown fields, it was a super fund clean up site., now called brown field, change the name and alls well, silly sheeple, stupid comes out of you education system. i.e. NEA, SEIU and all the other facists who run the system. If your interested in buying homes, the agents who sell won't tell you about this, they don't have to, i.e. ballietsville, the pond. its a superfund, lol, and you live next to it...lolololol. I advise lots of buyers to avoid certain areas, like Parkland, North Whitehall, and other places where I know superfund is located. Does you realestate agent do so? Doubt it. Avoid PSD, it is loaded with tax and spend liberal slackers, and some local sites that you should avoid.
Wallst March 17, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Hey Mark...get a CLUE. It's tax and spend conservatives here, not liberals.


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