Tussey passes prelim budget

Tussey Mountain board member John Baughman, left, presents the 2019-20 preliminary budget Monday during the school board’s voting meeting.

SAXTON— Tussey Mountain School District Board of Directors narrowly passed a preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year Monday evening.

The vote for the $17.2 million preliminary budget passed in a 5-3 vote with John Baughman, Brenda Folk, Adam Baker, Roy McCabe and Harry Watkins voting in favor of the preliminary budget and James L. Hodge, Wes Crooks and Brad Rouser voting against. James A. Hodge was absent from Monday’s meeting.

The district expects to receive about $4.5 million in local revenue, $11.9 million in state revenue and $451,000 in federal revenue for a total of $16.9 million in revenue

John Baughman, who serves on the board’s budget committee presented the budget to the board and said the proposed budget is figured with raising the district’s taxes to the index, 3.3 percent. Baughman said raising the index would still not help the district cover the costs of the raises in the support staff contract.

The district expects to spend about 53 percent of its budget on instruction, 11 percent on debt service, 8 percent on support services, 9 percent on facilities, 7 percent on administration, 7 percent on transportation, 2 percent on student activities and 3 percent on budget transfers.

“We’re out of line with other school district’s particularly with respect to debt service,” Baughman explained. “Typically in a healthy school district it’s 8 percent or less. Ours is almost half again that much.”

He added that the budget accounts for changes of several positions that the district has been unable to fill and the anticipated increase of one staff member of math/ science or a combination of the two.

Superintendent Gary Dawson said the district’s administration is beginning to look at long-term goals for the district now that the district has more of an idea of how its budgets plays out with the current layout of the district.

The district’s preliminary budget will be on display in the district office for 30 days.

Contact Katie Smolen at 623-1151 ext. 110 or ksmolen@bedfordgazette.com.

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