Elizabeth Forward school budget approved

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The Elizabeth Forward school board has in May approved a $39.2 million final budget for the 2014-15 school year that will not raise the property tax rate.

The tax rate will remain 20.6052 mills, and the tax bill on a home with an assessed value of $100,000 value will be $1,837.94, according to a written statement from superintendent Bart Rocco and business manager Richard Fantauzzi.

Mr. Fantauzzi said last week that expenses will increase by 1.04 percent from the 2013-14 school year to the 2014-15 school year.

According to the release, the district will receive $1.29 million in gaming revenue. The release said the district has 5,694 approved homesteads whose owners will receive up to $229 off their school real estate property tax bills from gambling revenue.

That will be $7.21 more than the $222.58 savings off the 2013-2014 school tax bill, the release said.

The biggest increase in the 2014-15 school year budget, $829,000 in increased pension costs for employees, will go to the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System.

Mr. Fantauzzi said the district will receive a $60,000 Safe Schools Grant to pay for a one-year contract with Forward Township Police Department for a school resource officer, a policeman present during school hours.

The grant will pay for the period until June, 2015, he said.

“It will improve public safety to have presence in the school district of a police officer,” Mr. Fantauzzi said.

Elizabeth Forward will also receive a $20,000 grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to upgrade high school industrial arts equipment.

The industrial arts equipment upgrade will improve curriculum, he said.

Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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