Maney: CASD Expected to Finish “in the Black” for 2012-13
CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Area School District is expected to finish the 2012-13 fiscal year “in the black,” reported Business Administrator Sam Maney at Monday night’s regular school board meeting.
Maney said going back to the original budget for the current-year, the district was faced with an approximately $1.8 million deficit. He said based upon estimated figures through January, the district is “already in the black” and not expected to have a deficit.
“We’ve made up the deficit,” said Maney. He said he and Superintendent Dr. Thomas B. Otto had discussed at length the district’s financial situation, which is why they couldn’t justify raising taxes above its index of 2.4 percent for this upcoming year. The board also approved an Act 1 resolution to set its 2013-14 tax index at the previously said percentage. In doing so, the board certifies that increasing any tax at a rate less than or equal to its index will be sufficient enough to balance its final budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Act 1 requires school districts to limit tax increases to the level set by an inflation index unless the tax increase is approved by voters in a referendum or the school districts obtain from the state’s Department of Education or a court of common pleas certain referendum exceptions.
However, Act 1 does allow school boards to elect to adopt a resolution, indicating that it will not raise the rate of any tax for the support of the public schools for the following fiscal year by more than its index, provided the resolution is adopted no later than 110 days prior to the date of the election immediately preceding the upcoming fiscal year.
By passing the resolution, the board is not eligible to seek referendum exceptions under Act 1. In addition, it is not eligible to request approval from the voters through a referendum to increase a tax rate by more than the index as established for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
During his report, Maney said Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to release his state budget next month, and he’ll use figures from that presentation to continue preparing the district’s upcoming-year budget. He said he’s anticipating “flat funding” from the state level. Maney said he and Bruce Nicolls, director of curriculum, instruction and federal programs, have seen approximately 10 percent decreases in federal revenue in each of the past few years.
“We seem to be on target for the year we’re in. I’m hoping not to use any of the fund balance for the current-year,” said Maney.
When asked, he said the district made up a “large chunk” of its anticipated deficit with its retirements last year.
When comparing the district’s revenue for the first seven months of the current-year to that of last year, Maney said it’s off by approximately $900,000, which the district expected, as it had some “one-time hits” last year that wouldn’t be coming up again this year.
So far as expenditures, he said the district’s “magic number” has been around $32 million. He’s estimating the district’s expenditures will be a little more than that for the current-year based upon the first seven months and the unknown lying ahead for the last five months.
“Hopefully, things get a little better than that. I’m giving you the most conservative look but still being realistic,” said Maney. “I’m comfortable saying that we’ll end in the black, just not sure by how much.”