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HAVSD Officials Preview 2013-14 Prelim Budget

Initial major budget assumptions were introduced to Haverford School Board officials at a meeting on Jan. 10.

Haverford School District Business Administrator Richard Henderson previewed the preliminary 2013-14 Haverford School District budget at a school board meeting on Jan. 10.

Henderson introduced initial major budget assumptions in the preliminary budget, including a projected 2.9 percent with a beginning fund balance of $2,315,355 and an ending fund balance of $414,685. The preliminary budget also anticipates $96.5 million in revenue and $98.4 million in expenditures.

Henderson said there may be a special education exception and PSERS exception available.

According to Henderson, the school district has just re-financed their 2004 bond last week. Total savings on that re-finance was $120,000 and it's being spread over two years, said Henderson. "We're going to realize $78,000 in savings this year and next year we'll realize the additional $26,000."

Henderson said he received a bill from the intermediate unit just days before the budget presentation last Thursday for an additional $220,000 in early intervention that the district did not have budgeted for the current year. "So, that's the downside for the current year," said Henderson.

The Act 1 Index is 1.7 percent which would result in additional $1.5 million in revenue. In addition, the PSERS' (Public School Employees Retirement System) exception would approximately generate $931,000 in revenue. The State Subsidey PSERS and Social Security/Medicaid is approximately $1.2 million and the cost to DCIU Technical School will, as of now, drop to $30,000. 

Some of the projected increased items for the 2013-14 school year include $705,000 worth of wages, $2.3 million in PSERS (approximately a 16.9 percent contribution level from the district), payroll taxes will increase to $54,000 (due to the increase in wages), and IBC Medical Premiums of $1.1 million.

According to Henderson, due to the increase in wage base, the district will not be allowed an exception from the state. "So as each year takes off, the exception does not cover as much of the PSERS increase as much as it was covering before.

"To put it in more graphic terms, if you're a school district and your enrollment goes up and you have to higher more teachers and staff to serve those you're getting penalized because you're not allowed to take the exceptioin for the increase of retirement costs for those additional employees," tacked on School Board Director Philip Hopkins.

School Board Director Lawrence Feinberg also added, "Basically what's happened is the state has said that despite the fact that we haven't really gotten any significant increases from the state and we haven't gotten any significant increases from the federal government, that despite our healthcare costs have continued to go up and basically that the districts just have eat that up and get it from the local taxpayers."

Henderson responded that there is a restriction on the district with the Act 1 Index. "We can't recover all those increases because we're limited by Act 1. We're definitely in a pickle."

A proposed preliminary budget presentation for the 2013-14 school year will be held on Jan. 24. School officials anticipate to adopt the proposed 2013-14 preliminary budget by Feb. 7. From February to June, school officials will continue to discuss the budget and offer public engagement on the budget. School official will anticipate to adopt the proposed final budget by May 9 and adopt the final budget by June 6.

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