Last week the Jim Thorpe School Board passed the 2011-2012 budget with a 2 mill (value of 1 mill is $649,682) increase. The final budget has been passed but the school board will have a final vote at the June 27th board meeting.

The budget has to be submitted by June 30th, which is the end of the school districts fiscal year. The school board will be putting in a final vote on June 27th but the budget cannot be changed.

Superintendent Barbara Conway stated, "Once the budget is passed, it is locked in."

"I appreciate the work the board has done by preserving programs and keeping taxes down to a minimum," she added.

Lauren Kovac, Jim Thorpe School District Business Manager/Board Secretary, stated, now that the budget passed there is no more work being done on it. The only way the budget could be reworked is if a material mistake is found in the budget.

The budget will be on display in the Business Office for residents and taxpayers of the Jim Thorpe School District to take a look at.

The budget was passed with a vote of 5-3 with board members Dennis McGinley, Ellen Kattner, and Gerald Strubinger voting against it.

Concerns about increasing the budget were voiced. Strubinger stated, "We could have balanced the budget with the general fund balance and the reserve account."

The general fund balance is reserve money being saved for emergencies. Kovac said she hopes there will be around $1 million in the general fund balance by the end of the school year.

The reserve account is around $384,000 and this money is built into the 2011-2012 budget as reserve.

The general fund balance and reserve account are being saved by the district for emergencies.

"We are worried about next year's budget (2012-2013) and we are trying to put the money away to help cover it," said Kovac.

Strubinger said that he wished instead of raising taxes the board would have balanced the budget with the reserve money.

"We will worry about next year but it's raining now," he added.

Strubinger also discussed that the state will have a surplus of $500,000,000 in a general fund balance that could be used for education. He stresses residents and taxpayers to contact state representatives about receiving education money from the state.

The Jim Thorpe School District budget will have a final vote for submission at the June 27th school board meeting.