As deadline for adoption approaches, KCSD's projected budget decreases slightly
By Steven Hoffman
Michael Finnegan, a member of the Kennett School Board, had some good financial news to share at the April 10 meeting: The projected expenditures for the 2017-2018 school year are decreasing slightly as the deadline to approve the spending plan approaches.
Finnegan explained that medical and prescription costs are coming in at about $100,000 less than what had been budgeted at the time the $84.5 million preliminary budget was adopted two months ago.
Additionally, the retirements of three experienced staff members will allow the district to save slightly more than $100,000 in projected salaries since the people hired to replace the staff members will likely start at a lower pay rate.
Combine the two significant cost-saving items and the district is now expecting to reduce the overall expenditures in the 2017-2018 spending plan.
Kennett adopted a preliminary budget with a proposed tax increase of 2.79 percent necessary to balance the spending plan, but Finnegan said that the Finance Committee now expects that tax increase to be closer to 2.43 percent. Work continues on fine-tuning the budget, which must be adopted by the end of June.
In his report to the school board, superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti recognized the accomplishments of the Kennett High School robotics team, which recently qualified for the World Championships in St. Louis from April 26 to 29.
“That's a first, obviously, for our club,” said Christina Gorman, who serves as one the team's mentors. There are 25 students on the team, which is called Demon Robotics. This is just the team's sixth year in existence.
Dr. Michael Barber, the district's assistant superintendent, and several school board members spoke fondly of the three people whose retirements were approved at this meeting—English teacher Carol Aiken, Spanish teacher Stephanie Lluna-Garces, and administrative assistant to the principal Rebecca Majeski. Each person served the district for more than two decades.
In his report to the school board, Robert Perzel, the district's director of facilities and construction, explained that the contractor has been on site and making good process on the construction of a new Kennett Middle School baseball field on days when the weather has allowed. The completion date for the construction of the field is at the end of June.
The school board approved the Chester County Intermediate Unit's budget for 2017-2018, a procedural requirement of all twelve of the Chester County school districts that contract with the Intermediate Unit for educational services. The Chester County Intermediate Unit's 2017-2018 budget amounts to $25,768,573, an increase of $959,085 over the current year's budget. KCSD's projected contribution to the core budget will be $34,581, which is the same as the actual contributions for the current year. The Intermediate Unit's occupational education budget for 2017-2018 is $28,039,563, an increase of $657,069 from the current year. Kennett is projected to spend $1,665,841 on occupational education, which is based on the three-year full-time equivalent enrollment average.
Kennett High School is planning the annual Multicultural and Diversity Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22.
The Kennett School Board will meet again on Monday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the Kennett Middle School.