Pleasant Valley closer to a final budget with no tax increase
Residents of the Pleasant Valley School District are one step closer to knowing for sure whether or not their taxes will remain the same as last year, or not.
On May 9, the district's board of directors voted to approve the proposed final budget for the 2013-2014 school year, with no increase.
This means the millage will remain the same as last year's at 146.016. The final budget maintains current programming for school district students, takes into account the severe shortfall in state funding, and accounts for meeting financial responsibilities for students in charter shcools and special needs students. To arive at the millage rate for 2013-14, $6.96 million in fund balance will be used to balance the budget and mitigate the need for a tax increase for the coming school year.
In a statement form the board, it notes that they want the public to know that the Board's ability to adopt a budget for 2013-14 with no tax increase is not the result of any recent circumstance or the efforts of any particular Board or adminsitration or individual Board member or administrator. Instead, it is the 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 whne the need arose in order to preserve efficiency and cost-effectiveness while delivering a tip-rate education to the children of Pleasant Valley.
Over the past few years, PV has worked hard to contain costs, doing such things as reconfiguirng 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, clsing Eldred Elentary and Chestnuthill Elementary Schools, elininating staff ositions (this includes more than 100 psoitions over the past six years), using in-house trainers for staff development, instituting a four (4) 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/ Taking these steps and more has allowed the school district to create a financial situation whereby funds are available to lessen the impact of the conintued shortfall in state funding and the potential effects of sequestration.
The board notes that a "zero" increase in taxes cannot be expected to be a yearly occurrence since the ability to hold the line on taxes will be severly jeopardized by a sustanined 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.