The Indiana Area School District’s proposed budget contains a 2.63 mill tax increase for the 2014-2015 school year. That is the maximum increase under Act 1 without application for exceptions. The total budget as it stands is $50,647,598. The final vote on the budget will be June 23.
The school board invited Dr. William Hartman of Penn State to give a presentation on the district’s five year budget projection. Hartman teaches at the College of Education and is an expert on school budgets.
Hartman’s model is based in assumptions; the direst of those is that state contributions will likely not increase. He said, for example, legislative proposals for increased state funding for things like retirement have a cold reception in Harrisburg.
Essentially Indiana Area, like all school districts, will have to count on draining their fund balances. His model shows that the fund balance will decrease from $5.7 million now to $2.2 million in the 2018-2019 school year. Comparatively, however, Indiana Area is in better shape than other districts.
In other action last night, the twice-tabled motion to create a part-time music position failed by a four to four vote. One board member, Bob Gongaware, was absent. The full-time position that was to be replaced by the motion was lost to retirement last year.
When state Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley visits Indiana today, he will present the Indiana Area School District with honors for three of the district schools. Cawley will recognize the Indiana Junior High, Eisenhower Elementary School, and the East Pike Elementary School for their scores on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile tests.
The Junior High scored 91.7 last year. Eisenhower had a 91.5 score. East Pike scored 90.3.
Cawley and PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch are scheduled to visit today to announce transportation funding for the repair of roads and bridges and for the runway project at Jimmy Stewart Airport.