Proposed Pleasant Valley school budget carries 8.13 mill increase
The Pleasant Valley school directors approved a proposed General Fund Budget for 2010-11, which contains a six percent or 8.13 mill increase, but the final budget will not be voted on until June 24.
Voting "yes" were Susan Kresge, president, Linda Micklos, John Sabia, Thomas Murphy, Harvey Frable, Russ Gould. James Spinola voted "no." MiChelle Palmer was absent.
Dr. Douglas Arnold, school superintendent, and Susan Famularo, business manager, gave a power point presentation on the proposed budget.
Decreased enrollment showed a net loss of nearly 400 students since last year.
"We will probably close Eldred Elementary," stated Dr. Arnold.
The district has no plans to hire for new positions in 2010-11 and there will be an elimination of 19 positions.
Budget revisions since Feb, 2010 shows an expenditure reduction of $3,006,000 and Dr. Arnold and Famularo said they are still reviewing, trying to lower the budget even more before the final approval vote at next month's meeting.
Improving student performance, school safety/security, inclusive philosphy/legal obligations, improving/infusing technology, curricular task forces, alternative funding mechanisms through Educational foundation and grants are some of the key factors in the focus of the district.
Funding sources for the 2010-11 budget are: Local funding - 57.1 percent; State funding - 38.8 percent; Federal funding - 1.4 percent; and use of $2.51 million fund balance - 2.7 percent.
Big issues facing the district include the effects of declining enrollment, maintaining programming and class size, PSERS (retirement) contribution, contractual agreements, cyber charter/charter impact, special education/alternative education contracts, economic recession and effects of student transiency and debt service.
"We've had $65,000 increase this year but that's not a major impact nor do we have a major project for the next few years," stated Famularo.
The some of the student-based impacts are: increase in severely needy special education students of more high-profile cases.
"PV now has 9 percent of special needs students who are autism spectrum. They have a right to be in school but they do cost more money," Dr. Arnold said.
The six percent increase would be from 135.500 to 143.630 mills. The district's 2010-11 net collected mill value is second lowest in Colonial IU 20 with the highest value being Bethlehem at $2,673,963 and the lowest being Pen Argyl at $294,320. PV is the lowest in Monroe County at $304,724. Pocono Mountain is the highest at $897,310.
The Gambling and Property Tax Relief amount certified for PV in 2010-11 is $4,065,718.56 but has not yet been incorporated into the budget.
Dr. Arnold listed what the board has done for the district: negotiated fair contracts; monitored daily expenditures; served as members of multiple consortia; participated in Health Insurance trusts; instituted a Safety Committee; employed a cautions approach to facility planning; refinanced debt; looked into stress energy conservation (presently looking at a 4-day workweek for support staff); sought grant monies; created PV Cyber Academy; subcontracted transportation; and updated policies.
He added that the residents of PVSD can help by attending school board meetings to learn about the district and offer constructive suggestions and contact legislators to thank them and to urge them to continue support for public education.
The proposed budget is available to be viewed by the public at the administration building located at PVMS, Rt. 115, Brodheadsville.
In other business:
• Approved for hire of substitute support staff-Randy Smale, maintenance; Leslie Smith-cafeteria worker/custodian/monitor; Betty Lou VanHorn-cafeteria worker
• Approved transfers of support staff: Gigi Barton from Eldred to PVMS; Sharon Graver from Eldred to Polk
• Approved hire of part-time paraprofessional: Peggy Corriveau, Polk; Tammie Pomposello, PVE
• Approved hire of substitute teachers: Cynthia Anderson, Lori Bray, Andrea Capria, Sally Tobias, all areas; Kathleen Klapat, business education; Ann Quinn-May, elementary; Elaine Yampolsky, biology
• Approved Richard Rimple for 2010-11 fall assistant coaching position for varsity cross country