Pittsburgh Public Schools expects no-tax-increase budget, future deficits
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Pittsburgh Public Schools is planning a 12th consecutive year without a tax increase.
The district's budget forecast, which was released tonight, also shows the deficit for calendar 2012 is substantially below projections, but the deficit problem is expected to worsen by 2014.
"We've probably run most of the whole course in terms of using traditional methods to reduce their spending," school Superintendent Linda Lane said, noting the school board already closed schools and reduced staff.
While there may be some traditional savings yet to be realized, Ms. Lane said the district is going to need to look for more creative and innovative ways to educate students.
The school board is planning to set the millage rate and approve the budget at its Dec. 19 meeting. Unlike most school districts in the state, Pittsburgh operates on a calendar budget year.
Exactly what the millage rate will be depends on whether the controversial new property assessment values go into effect. As it stands, the county is required to certify the values by Dec. 17. Those whose property values go up significantly more than the average may find their own taxes go up although the district as a whole won't be getting more tax money overall.
At this point, the proposed 2013 budget is $516.6 million, a 2.5 percent decrease from the adopted 2012 budget. In addition to no tax increase, the proposal assumes a stable workforce and no additional school closings.
When the 2012 budget was adopted last December, the district forecast a $21.71 million deficit in 2012 even after a variety of cuts, including central office positions and teachers, were estimated to save about $40 million over a school year.
Now the forecast calls for a deficit of $7.71 million in 2012 and $4.66 million in 2013.
After 2013, however, the deficit is expected to grow substantially, from $22.45 million in 2014 to $34.18 million in 2015 and $43.63 million in 2016.
First Published October 1, 2012 6:09 pm