Kennett School Board approves $86.3 million proposed final budget
● By Steven Hoffman
The Kennett School Board approved a proposed final operating budget of $86,337,497 for the 2018-2019 school year at its meeting on April 9.
The proposed final budget will be available for public review until a final general operating budget is adopted by the school board next month.
School board member Michael Finnegan, who serves on the district's Finance Committee, said that the proposed final budget is very similar to the preliminary budget that was unveiled to the public in February.
“We have not changed anything since the preliminary (budget),” Finnegan said, explaining that the district is still working to reduce expenditures in advance of the adoption of the final budget.
A tax increase of 2.27 percent will be necessary to balance the budget. That amounts to an increase of $123 to the average tax bill. The average assessed value of a home in the district is $330,000.
Overall, proposed expenditures for 2018-2019 are increasing by about $2 million over the current year. Items impacting the budget the most include salary increases, charter school tuition costs, and state-mandated PSERS costs. The state determines the rate that public school districts must contribute to the retirement fund, and the rate has been increasing each year for the last decade. Kennett Consolidated School District's PSERS costs are increasing by nearly $600,000, or 2.6 percent. The school district's costs related to charter schools are increasing by about $200,000 next year.
If the final budget is approved as is, Kennett's millage rate would increase to 30.5542 mills.
In other business at the meeting, the school board approved a proposed special education plan that will be effective from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021. The plan was developed and reviewed by a committee of staff members and parents and was available for public review for 30 days.
In his Legislative Council report, school board member William Brown informed his colleagues that there are no fewer than 26 bills pertaining to school safety currently being discussed by state lawmakers in Harrisburg. It remains to be seen how many of those bills will make it out of committee.
The school board approved a series of personnel items, including a few resignations, requests for leave, and recommendations for employment.
The Kennett School Board will meet again on Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at the Kennett Middle School.