KCSD board discusses early budget numbers, new marketing video
By Steven Hoffman
It’s still early, but the Kennett Consolidated School District’s budget for 2019-2020 is starting to take shape.
At the Jan. 14 meeting, school board member Michael Finnegan, who serves on the district’s Finance Committee, offered an update on the spending plan. Finnegan said that most recent version of the 2019-2020 budget projects expenditures to be approximately $88.2 million. In order to balance a budget at that level, a tax increase of approximately 2.27 percent would be necessary, Finnegan said. Such an increase would keep the school district within the Act 1 Index limit. For Kennett, the Act 1 Index limit for 2019-2020 is approximately 2.30 percent.
District officials still have four months to work on the budget, and Finnegan said that they want to reduce the projected expenditures to limit the size of the tax increase.
“We're hoping for a tax increase of less than 2 percent,” Finnegan said.
There are still some big pieces to the budgetary puzzle missing at this point. The biggest one is the state budget that establishes the state subsidies that school districts will receive. There are also numerous expenditures, such as the costs for the various kinds of insurance or for educational services from the Chester County Intermediate Unit, that district officials can only project at this point. In the coming months, the district will have a much better idea of the specific costs. A final budget must be adopted by June 30 so the school district has up to five more months to work on the spending plan.
During his superintendent's report at the Jan. 14 meeting, Dr. Barry Tomasetti thanked the school board members for their work on behalf of the school district and the community. January is School Director Recognition Month in Pennsylvania, and students in the New Garden Elementary School had written cards to each of the nine Kennett School Board members thanking them for their work.
Tomasetti also unveiled a new marketing video that highlights the school district's commitment to STEM education programs. The video featured administrators, teachers, and students talking about the benefits of the STEM initiatives that the district has undertaken. Additionally, a former student talked about how the education at Kennett led to academic success at the collegiate level. The video is featured on the school district’s website at www. kcsd .org.
Tomasetti also updated the school board about the district’s efforts to provide information to parents, students, and the staff about Safe2Say Something.
This program, which is run by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, teaches children and adults about how to recognize warning signs of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. The goal is to get people to say something before it is too late and a tragedy occurs.
The program allows people to submit an anonymous tip report through the Safe2SaySomething system. A crisis center reviews, evaluates, and processes all submissions. The crisis center sends all submissions to school administration and/or law enforcement for intervention.
The Kennett School Board will meet again at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.