The North Allegheny School District's proposed budget deficit of $5.7 million can be pared to less than $1 million with cuts and tax increases, according to a preliminary budget approved by the school board Wednesday.
And that $800,000 deficit can be eliminated if the board votes to close Peebles Elementary School. Renting Peebles could bring another $600,000 into district coffers, Superintendent Raymond Gualtieri said.
The $132 million budget carries a tax rate of 18.0838 mills which, on the surface, looks like a decrease from the current rate of 20.9230 mills. But the district must lower its rate so that it does not raise additional money from the reassessment of property in Allegheny County, said Mike Hopkins, district business manager.
In reality, taxes may rise by 0.6 or 0.7 mills, the maximum allowed by law, he said.
Other savings are coming from reduction of teachers, cutting one transportation route, refunding a bond issue and delaying capital improvements for another year.
The district is also seeing an additional $1 million in earned income tax this year because employers are now required to take the tax out of paychecks.
The preliminary budget was approved 8-0. Administrators will continue to work on the budget until final passage in June.
Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org