A brief summary of the topics presented and information shared during discussion is provided below.
Dr. Stoltz shared information regarding the development of the 2016-2017 General Fund budget. The Act 1 base index is 2.4% this year, which represents the total increase allowed under Act 1 without seeking exceptions. Because the District did not pass a resolution to stay within the Act 1 base index, a preliminary budget needed to be developed. The preliminary budget shows expenditures at $110,287,141. It is important to note that the budget is fluid and will change between now and final adoption in June. The District has applied for additional exceptions (retirement and special education) that would allow the District to exceed the base index.
The budget process has been affected tremendously by the lack of a state budget. It is very difficult for the District to anticipate revenue from the state. This is a problem in the current budget, and now both the state and the District are in the process of developing their budgets for next year without any idea of when this impasse will conclude. For budget related information, including presentations made to the Board and the public, click here. The Board Finance Committee also meets the second Thursday of every month at 5:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Administration Center for Education. The public is encouraged to attend these meetings.
2016-2017 School Calendar
Dr. Stoltz asked for feedback on early dismissals and start dates as they relate to the development of the school calendar for next year. There was discussion about how early the start date was for the 2015-2016 school year. The start of the school year is largely dependent on the end date, which a working draft currently has slated for Friday, June 2, 2017. Dr. Stoltz shared his appreciation of parent and community feedback in the development of the calendar. A draft of the 2016-2017 calendar will be posted on the District’s website in February for review before it is voted on in March. Notice of the draft’s availability will be shared on the District’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Sale of Mt. Zion Elementary
The Mt. Zion Elementary School property was sold in November to Fairview Township.
Food Services Calls
Parents shared feedback on the low balance calls received from the Food Services department. In particular, parents expressed concern for the frequency of low balance calls and whether there was an option to “opt-out” of those calls. Dr. Stoltz explained there were two current options, which are to add money to the account to get the balance above $5.00 or remove money so there is a $0 balance. Unfortunately, there is no easy “opt-out” for the meal system, but Dr. Stoltz did share the concern for the number of calls being made with the Food Services department.
Next Meeting: March 16, 2016
At this meeting, Catherine Mentzer, Executive Director of the West Shore Foundation, will join the group to share information from the Foundation. Thomas Ryan, Coordinator of Safety and Student Attendance and Thomas Burnheimer, Director of Pupil Services, will also join the group; to discuss a number of safety related issues.
Community members are reminded they can submit ideas for future topics of discussion to any District Voice representative.