School budget to include 1.5-mill tax hike

June 26, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - After cutting a proposed tax increase from 1.91 mills to 1.5 mills, the Waynesboro School Board on Tuesday approved a $33.7 million general fund budget for next year.

The board debated whether to lower the tax increase, which was based on the assumption that the next state budget would include additional education funding.

State law requires the school district to approve a budget by June 30.

The legislature is expected to vote on the state budget soon.

"Why can't we wait a few more days?" board member Nelson W. Rock asked. "You know we're going to get more money."


"I don't know how you can assume we're going to get it unless it's there," School Board President Lawrence M. Glenn replied.

Preliminary state budget reports have "left little doubt in my mind" that extra money will be there, board member Leland Lemley said.

Lemley said Waynesboro should get at least $100,000 more than it has already been promised.

Gov. Mark Schweiker previously proposed a 1 percent increase in funding for all Pennsylvania schools, but the newest version of the budget includes a 2 percent increase, according to The Associated Press.

Waynesboro School Board members considered waiting a little longer and holding a special session - after the state budget is passed and before their own June 30 deadline.

But board member K. Marilyn Smith made a motion to accept the budget, as is, with a 1.91-mill increase.

A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property values.

Suddenly, the board decided to go into executive session. Lemley said it was for "negotiations." Asked with whom the board was negotiating, Lemley shot back, "I don't have to tell you that."

The school board is negotiating with its teachers on a new contract.

When the board returned to the meeting room 15 minutes later, Smith withdrew her motion and made a new motion to approve the budget with a 1.5-mill increase.

The motion passed unanimously, including a hesitant vote by Rock.

Waynesboro's $33.7 million general fund budget for next year will be $882,776, or 2.7 percent, more than this year's, according to Superintendent Barry Dallara.

The school board also approved an athletic fund budget of $455,543, down 1.2 percent from this year; a 2002-03 capital reserve fund budget of $307,770, down 17 percent from this year; a new capital reserve fund of $369,500 for future projects; and a food service budget of $1,301,061, down 3 percent from this year.

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