South Fayette schools present updated budget

Published Apr 21, 2014 at 9:47 am (Updated Apr 21, 2014 at 9:47 am)

Finance officials for the South Fayette School District presented an updated budget presentation at a school board meeting April 15.

“We are currently working on the proposed final budget,” which is slated to be approved at the board’s May 20 meeting, said Brian Tony, director of finance for the district.

Tony, along with assistant finance director Maria Brewer-Aguilar presented proposed numbers, which included a $44.5 million expenditure budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The district was approved for one referendum exception for PSERS (Public School Employee Retirement System) and is also eligible to raise taxes by the index of 2.7 percent, or 0.6672 mills.

If the board decides to raise taxes to the index with the PSERS exception, the district would still be facing a shortfall of $215,492, as revenues would be at slightly more than $44.3 million. Raising taxes to the maximum, which would be a millage rate increase of 0.8368, would mean a $50 increase in taxes for a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000. The current millage rate is 24.7126.

“We will continue to work on it and have an update next week,” Tony said.

Summer Programs

South Fayette Intermediate School Principal Greg Wensell presented ideas for two new summer programs to the board at the April 15 meeting.

The first is a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) program. Wensell said the summer program would be open to students currently in grades three through five at South Fayette. The proposed four-day camp would take place at the school June 23-26.

Three topics would be covered during the camp and include rain barrels and composting, renewable energies and videography. Wensell said the students would be able to participate in each session every day. Materials used for the camp would be purchased through registration fees.

Wensell said he projects about 120 students to sign up for the camp.

“We gauged interest based on the students’ turnout for the Inspire Speaker Series and STEAM family night,” Wensell said, referring to the well-attended events.

“It will be great for students, but great internally as well,” Wensell said.

The cost of the camp is expected to be $100 for the four days. An Angel Fund will be set up to help students who may not be able to afford the camp.

The second camp is a Strings Camp, which will help students enrolled in the intermediate school’s strings band program. Nearly 100 students participate in the program. Wensell said the program will be for third and fourth-graders and will take place July 7-10.

The cost of the Strings Camp would be $30 for the week. An Angel Fund will also be set up for the camp.

The board is expected to vote on whether to approve the two camps at its April 22 meeting.

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