Good news for residents in the Pleasant Valley School District there will be no tax increase for 2013-2014.
The PVSD board of supervisors approved a proposed final budget with a zero increase, 6-0. Board members MiChelle Palmer, Charles Hoffman and Harvey Frable were absent. The millage will remain the same as last year's 146.016 mills because $6.96 million in the fund balance was used to balance the budget.
In a press release, it states that the reason the board could adopt this budget with no tax increase was because of a "culmination of many years of prudent financial planning and the frugal use of resources, with a number of different boards and administrations making tough decisions when the need arose in order to preserve efficiency and cost-effectiveness while delivering a top-rate education to the children of Pleasant Valley."
In order to contain costs, the district did such things as "reconfiguring the school district, refinancing bonds, subcontracting transportation, condensing and eliminating bus runs, securing grant monies, increasing ACCESS reimbursements, creating the PV Cyber Academy, creating the I.C.E. program, closing Eldred and Chestnuthill elementary schools, eliminating staff positions (this includes more than 100 professional, administrative and support staff positions over the past six years), using in-house trainers for staff development, instituting a four-day summer workweek to save on utility costs, implementing in-house printing, joining purchasing consortia, stressing energy conservation (e.g., lighting, heating and cooling), including entering into a performance contract, and reducing paper consumption."
These steps were taken to lessen the impact of the continued reduced state funding and possible effects of sequestration.
The board promises to continue looking for ways to "trim and/or contain costs throughout the school year."
There is no promise that a zero increase will be a yearly occurrence as long as there is a continued shortfall in state funding "which will eventually cause significant financial hardship on the school district and will seriously affect the education received by the children of Pleasant Valley," states the release.
The proposed final budget will soon be available to view on the district's web page, www.pvbears.org.