Board proposes 3.91 percent tax hike New elementary principals announced

By on May 16, 2012

By: MICHAEL C. UPTON Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Warwick School District Board of Directors Tuesday adopted a preliminary 2012-13 district budget in the amount of $61,761,232. The preliminary budget calls for a .7 mil increase in property tax, or 3.91 percent, to set the total millage rate at 18.6. According to district calculations, the new rate will propose an increase of $119 on a residence appraised at $170,000.

The district held numerous meetings and an educational forum on the budget process throughout the year. The board made no comment on the budget Tuesday.

Instruction costs make up 55.04 percent of expenditures in the proposed budget, accounting for more than $33 million. Support services come in second at 26 percent of the budgeted expenses.

Revenue for the district comes primarily from local sources. $40,331,051, or 65.3 percent of total revenue, comes from real estate taxes, tuition, wage and real estate transfer taxes, rent, public utility tax, and other forms. Alternative funding accounts for $50,000 and the district projects $143,000 coming into the district in the form of athletic revenue.

Superintendent Dr. April Hershey stated the district’s recently announced alternative funding program for signage at the district’s athletic fields received a hearty welcome from the community. The district sent mailers to each household and every local business in the district outlining the program.

"In a week and a half we have commitments of over $20,000 already and over 65 additional inquiries … about purchasing banners," Hershey said. "So, that’s been very successful in a few short days."

Continuing with revenue, the district will pull $3.6 million from the district’s fund balance to meet the 2012-13 budget. In prior years the district has tried to avoid dipping into the fund balance and budgetary reserve to aid the budget. State revenues are expected to total $17 million and federal income adds $572,701.

Almost entirely across the board, revenues for the district are down from the estimated 2011-12 budget to the proposed 2012-13 budget. Interim real estate revenue dropped from $205,000 to 80,000. Over the past two years, the district received $202,676 in state accountability grants-those funds are not available for the upcoming school year. The district’s fund balance, which ended the 2010-11 school year at $8,359,651, will potentially drop to $3,282,294 by the end of 2012-13. According to district calculations, the fund balance is projected to be in the negative by 2013-14.

The board will vote on the proposed budget at the next regular business meeting on June 19 at 7 p.m. in the district office.

In other news, the board announced some changes in leadership at the elementary level. Stacie Bardell was approved to become principal of John R. Bonfield effective July 1. Bardell fills the opening left by Dr. Peggy Montgomery whose retirement was approved earlier this year. Moving from Bonfield is fourth grade teacher Jennifer Murphy who will become the principal of Lititz Elementary. She will replace Melanie Calender who has transferred to district administration as the Director of Elementary Education and Federal Programs.

The board also thanked those in attendance and all teachers by honoring teacher appreciation week with an official proclamation. Hershey commended the Warriors Against Hate team for providing the largest contingency of participants to the Lancaster YWCA’s Race Against Racism. In the race, Emily Cameron of Lititz won the female age 14-18 class with an overall finish of 77th.

Prior to the regular business meeting, board President Dr. Timothy Quinn asked for a moment of silence to remember Warwick senior Tiffany Cumberbatch. More SCHOOL BOARD, page A14

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