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BASD adopts 2020-21 budget; no tax increase

BELLEFONTE — The Bellefonte Area School District has a budget for the 2020-21 school year.

The budget was adopted at Tuesday’s school board meeting. The district’s expenditures came in $53,025,000, according to Ken Bean, director of fiscal affairs. The district’s total revenue sits at $50,150,000.

There is no tax increase for residents in the district. However, the district did have to dip into its fund balance to the tune of $2,625,000. Bellefonte’s current fund balance sits at $3,709,900.

“That looks like a big number, but it’s not even one month’s worth of that $53 million,” Bean said.

Here’s a closer look at what’s in the budget:

— PSERS rate increase from 34.29 percent to 34.77 percent.

— Charter school tuition of $3 million.

— $0 for future capital projects

— CPI tuition of $2,005,000.

— Tuition to other LEA’s of $1,065,000.

— Transportation costs of $1,914,000.

— The Basic Ed subsidy remains level funded.

— Special Ed subsidy increase of $36,000.

— Real estate assessed value growth of 1.25 percent.

— Collection rate decrease of two percent to 94 percent.

— Decrease of earned income taxes of $600,000.

Expenditures for the district break down like this: Salaries ($20,088,269), benefits ($14,064,141), professional services ($1,906,195), purchased services ($1,358,770), other purchased services ($8,726, 934), supplies ($1,226,926), property ($293,750), other objects ($1,194,561) and other uses of funds ($4,165,454).

“Where’s the money being spent? Like any school district, it’s basically in salaries and benefits,” Bean explained.

The real estate tax millage rate remains at 50.2131.

The PSERS rate increases from 34.29 percent to 34.77 percent.

Additionally, some items of note: The budget transfers $250,000 from the committed fund balance for future capital projects. There was also a reduction of health insurance of $250,000 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The district will received ESSR funds of $344,164 from the Federal Government. An athletic fund balance of $150,000 is also being used. Curriculum costs are being reduced by $150,000. Eliminated six positions by attrition for a savings of $375,000. Finally, the assistant superintendent position has been temporarily halted for a savings of $180,000.

“That will be replaced, obviously, in the next budget,” Bean said.

Former assistant superintendent Tammie Burnaford has taken over as interim superintendent for Dr. Michelle Saylor, who retired at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year, which was shortened by the pandemic. The assistant superintendent position currently sits vacant.

For more information about the district’s budget, visit www.basd.net.

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