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School Board Gets Peek At 2016-17 Budget, Slight Tax Rate Increase Probable

2-15-16 Meeting - 12

Interim Board of Education business administrator James Strimple talks about the preliminary 2016-17 district budget.


The 2016-17 school district budget won’t be firmed up for another month, but preliminary figures show it will trigger a small uptick in the school tax rate.

Interim district business manager James H. Strimple Jr. told the Board of Education at its Feb. 25 meeting that the amount to be raised in taxes in calendar year 2016 for the budget looks to be $136,084,365, a $4.8 million increase from the calendar year 2015 figure.

That translates to an increase in the school tax rate of 3 cents, to $1.50 per $100 of assessed valuation from $1.47 per $100, he said.

Strimple said the effect on the owner of a home assessed at $309,139 – the township average – would be $90.

The total budget as it stands now is $162,822,363, up $4,759,743 from the 2015-16 budget, Strimple said. He said that figure could change by the time the budget is introduced at the board’s March meeting.

The final budget is scheduled to be approved at the April 28 board meeting, said schools Superintendent John Ravally.

Ravally said there were “slight increases” in several areas, such as transportation costs and costs for special education.

The budget, he said, “is a work in progress.”

Ravally took the board through budget expenditures for the district’s eight goals:

  • $318,400 for staff and training costs, including a new position, Supervisor of Instructional Technology.
  • $295,800 for “data supported academic interventions” for student progress.
  • $70,000 for for technology.
  • $525,000 to help offset the cost of the district’s expand Pre-K program, including staff and the outfitting of four more classrooms for Pre-K students.
  • $155,200 for safety and security staff and technology.
  • $50,000 for the upcoming district restructuring.
  • Using the allowed spending growth allowance
  • Use any unused 2015-16 budget money to supplement the $84 million referendum budget.

The budget also includes money for the hiring of five more para-professionals, a new high school art teacher, Ravally said.

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