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Salisbury School Budget Starts at $31.7M

The 2013-14 budget was passed by the Board of School Directors Wednesday night, but will change drastically when a final version is passed in June.

The Salisbury Board of School Directors has passed a preliminary $31.7 million budget for the 2013-14 school year -- a budget which will change drastically before a final version is passed in June.

Salisbury Township School District Business Administrator Robert Bruchak said the $31.7 figure represents a 4.2 percent increase over the 2012-2013 budget.

The preliminary budget requires a real estate tax levy of 17.0857 mills and authorizes the administration to apply for all Act 1 exceptions for which the school district can qualify. Current school millage is 48.7540.

Salibury's maximum tax increase under Act 1 is 1.7 percent.

"This is a preliminary budget and we're mandated to have it by the end of the month," said board chair Russell Giordano. "This is our first crack at it and it will continue to be looked at until June. We'll propose a final budget in May and again in June."

Bruchak said the biggest challenges in the budget are pension costs and charter school tuition payments.

Bruchak said Gov. Tom Corbett's recent state budget funding for schools gives Salisbury a net increase of $36,000 in funding. In that figure lies a $3,000 decrease in special education funding.

"I'm concerned about where there may be other hidden decreases," said Superintendent Michael Roth. "We've been level funded in special education for six years and that's where costs are skyrocketing."

Last year, directors implemented a 4 percent tax increase in the 2012-13 budget.

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