School Budget Gap to Diminish with Corbett Proposal
As proposed, Gov. Tom Corbett's state budget would close an estimated $650K in Hatboro-Horsham School District's deficit.
If Gov. Tom Corbett's $28.4 billion budget moves forward as introduced, it would cut Hatboro-Horsham School District's budget shortfall for its 2013-14 spending plan in half, a district official told Patch.
With a 1.7 percent tax increase figured in for the upcoming school district budget, Hatboro-Horsham is still facing a $1.3 million budget shortfall. Without a tax increase, the deficit is about $2.2 million, district officials reported last month.
However, Corbett's budget—at least in the early version released Tuesday—would help to lessen the gap, Bob Reichert, Hatboro-Horsham School District's director of business affairs told Patch.
"If the governor’s budget was approved as currently proposed, I estimate that it would reduce our current deficit by approximately $650,000," Reichert said.
Based on his preliminary review of the state's first draft budget, Reichert said Corbett's proposed spending plan would provide a "nominal" increase in basic education funding, as well as a nominal decrease in special education funding.
Statewide, the funding increase translates to an additional $90 million in basic education.
Perhaps the biggest impact for school districts is Corbett's pension reform proposal, which calls for a reduced increase in employer contribution rates for next year. At the state level, the proposal would save $175 million. For school districts, $140 million in savings could be realized under Corbett's plan.
For Hatboro-Horsham, that would mean less money being directed into the Public School Employees' Retirement System. In December, the Public School Employees' Retirement System Board of Trustees set the annual employer contribution rate at 16.93 percent for 2013-2014, which begins on July 1, according to a press release on the system's Web site.
According to the release, the state reimburses school districts "for not less than 50 percent of the total employer contribution rate."
District officials have said that salary and benefits make up roughly 77 percent of Hatboro-Horsham's $90 million spending plan. As such, officials said last month, as they said last year, that the bulk of the budget gap would be plugged through a reduction in staff.