Public School Funding – Salisbury Township School District

by Randy Ziegenfuss and Lynn Fuini-Hetten on May 2, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, Board President Russ Giordano represented Salisbury on a panel of local school officials discussing public school funding. See the slideshow below and enlightening notes about the various slides.

 Slide 3: Key Financial Data

Because of our aid ratio, Salisbury has had the lowest possible index since the advent of Act 1. For example, in 2015-16, our index is 1.9%.

Aid ratio represents the relative wealth in relation to the state average for each pupil in the school district. Aid ratio is used to determine our Act 1 index and PlanCon reimbursement rates. The lower the number the “wealthier” the district. At an aid ratio of 37.49%, Salisbury is the 3rd wealthiest school district in the Lehigh Valley.

Lehigh Valley Health Network pays Salisbury Township School District $134,000 in lieu of taxes. If it were a fully taxable entity, Salisbury would receive $4.6 million in tax revenue from LVHN.

Slide 4: 2014-15 Revenues

The revenue percentages have consistently hovered around the same breakdown for the past 5 years.

Slide 7: Programmatic Advances

  • Teaching and Learning 2020 –   – started in 2012 as Teaching and Learning 2014 (
  • RtII – at the elementary level
  • Media Studies series – Media Messages, Media Management, Media studies
  • English Electives – Classical Mythology; Creative Writing
  • Social Studies Electives – Rebels, Robbers, Rogues; Ancient and Classical Empires
  • Computer Science – Data Base; Game Programming
  • Online Learning – developing courses to be used in online and blended learning environments

Slide 8: Mandate – Transportation

Salisbury is required to transport private, parochial and charter students up to 10 miles from borders of Salisbury Township School District.

Slide 10: Mandate – PSERS

Important to note that these increases in the district share of PSERS are due the state/General Assembly underfunding its portion of retirement over the past decade.

Slide 11: Mandate – Special Education

Total impact of the unfunded/underfunded mandates – $9.8 million – about 28% of the proposed final budget for 2015-16. This is a portion of the budget that the district and school board has no control over and are required to fund.

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