The Hatboro-Horsham School District knew the approximate $650,000 earmark from the federal government would go away eventually – but the possibility of the loss beginning next year has made district officials “fearful.”
Officials, during Tuesday night’s school board meeting, announced plans to lobby against President Obama’s proposal to cut federal impact aid for districts, including Hatboro-Horsham, that receive federal government funding for military land within the district’s coverage area.
Each year, Hatboro-Horsham receives roughly $650,000 because the 1,100-acre Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove is not on the tax rolls, Superintendent Curtis Griffin said.
If Obama’s proposal moves forward, Bob Reichert, director of business affairs, said the earmark would disappear after this year, an estimated two to three years – or more - sooner than it would once the 862-acre portion eyed for redevelopment is transferred from the federal government.
“This happened once before in the Clinton administration,” Reichert said, adding that it had been reinstated. “This time I’m fearful.”
For this year’s district budget, which is slated for adoption in June, officials are so far projecting a $1.7 million deficit, slightly less than the $2 million shortfall for this same time last year.
Griffin said expenditure reductions will be discussed during the board’s March 19 meeting. In April, Griffin said staffing will be addressed.
“I do anticipate a reduction of staff,” Griffin said. “I’m hopeful we’re going to do a large portion of that through attrition.”