When: School board meeting, Jan. 9.
What happened: Chief Financial Officer Donna Robbins elaborated on the preliminary general fund budget for 2020-21 of $104.74 million, which she presented Dec. 12.
Details: Robbins said the budget reflects increases in salaries (2.8%) and benefits, including an increase in medical and dental costs (5.3%), as well as 34.51% for the Pennsylvania School Employees’ Retirement System contribution. It also includes a 2% increase for other expenditures and $171,000 for additional debt service payments.
Cost savings: Lauren Stadel, of RBC Capital Markets, gave a presentation on refinancing the district’s debt.
Quotable: “Long story short, the district can save on debt,” Stadel said after she addressed the board. “It’s like a home mortgage. Interest rates are lower now than when the district borrowed. They could save $600,000.”
What’s next: The board will vote to adopt the proposed budget Jan. 16, with approval of the final budget in June. The board will also vote on refinancing.
New classes and textbooks: Karen Nell, director of secondary curriculum and instruction, asked the board to approve 2020-21 elective high school courses in drama and music production and revised courses for orchestra, symphonic band and chorus, along with a revised middle school chorus. Nell also proposed revising and moving a health education course from 11th to 10th grade, which will require a substitute teacher for two years, and asked the board to approve new world languages and musical theater textbooks for 2020-21, for a total cost of $68,288.