Recently, the Food Service Department was reviewed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for compliance with federal regulations. The Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 requires the State Agency to conduct Administrative Reviews of schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program
These reviews are conducted every three years to determine whether the district meets the program regulations. PDE also provides technical assistance during the review process and a Corrective Action Plan if necessary. Some of the criteria that are part of the review process include the meal component, food quantities, dietary specifications, nutrient analysis, local wellness and food safety to name a few. We’re happy to report that Salisbury Township School District had a favorable review with no findings or Corrective Action Plan! This is indicative of a quality cafeteria staff and how the Food Service Department is managed and operated. The staff at the district’s Food Service Department work hard to provide healthy and nutritious meals for our students.
In an effort to improve our school lunch program and to continue to provide a nutritious, healthy, and quality lunch, the district will be conducting surveys for students, parents and staff regarding the schools lunches. These short surveys will go live within the next few weeks. Salisbury is also considering implementing a breakfast program next year at the High School. At this time it is still undecided whether this program will be expanded to include other buildings next year. You’ll find the offering of breakfast to be one of the questions on the survey. Please give us your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.
On May 18, 2016 the School Board will be approving the Proposed Final Budget for the 2016-17 school year. The total expenditures for the 2016-17 Proposed Final Budget is $35,867,038 (not including the contingency). The projected revenues for the Proposed Final Budget are $35,106,530. That leaves a gap of $760,508 to close. The District will be utilizing fund balance to close this gap.
The Board has previously assigned $500 thousand of the existing fund balance to be used to help fund the 2016-17 Budget. Additionally the District has been planning for the financial impact that is caused by the significant increases in PSERS, or pension fund obligation. To balance the budget, the District will use $260,508 from the assigned fund balance set aside for pension obligations (PSERS). By doing this the impact to taxpayers will be mitigated as the PSERS obligation is phased in over time.
The Board is considering a tax increase somewhere in between 1.8% to 2.4%. As you are probably aware, the Act 1 Index for 2016-17 is 2.4%. Back in March the District was approved for two exceptions to increase taxes above the index. The exceptions included the increase in special education expenses and the rising cost of pension obligations. This approval would allow the district to increase taxes to maximum level of 4.57%. However, the Proposed Final Budget for 2016-17 only has a tax increase built in at 2.0%. A lot of effort was put into the budget to minimize the tax increase and be sensitive to property owners.
Recently the State’s 2015-16 budget was just approved. It is difficult to project next year’s budget (2016-17 budget). The state just completed the 2015-16 budget. It took approximately 10 months to adopt the 2015-16 Budget. What Salisbury Township School District will receive from the state for next year is unknown. It is important to note that “holding the line in Harrisburg on tax increases” pushes the financial burden on local school districts and property owners. The small increase in education funding that Harrisburg gave school districts for this year didn’t even cover the increase in pension liability that school districts are required to pay into the system. Even the budget that the Governor has proposed still doesn’t cover the increase in pension liability. There are other options that the legislators could consider to help close the gap for a compromised budget. Taxing Marcellus Shale is still not being considered at this time. Additionally, there has been no serious discussion to cut expensive mandates that school districts are required to fund.
The 2016-17 Proposed Final Budget will be on display on the District’s web site no later than May 27th. The Board will be adopting the final 2016-17 Budget on June 15th at the June Board Meeting.