Salisbury Faces Declining Enrollment, Rising Costs

Salisbury Township School District's declining enrollment, rising costs, have implications for budgets over next five years, business administrator says.

If does not raise taxes in the next five years, it would need to cut more than $4 million from the budget by 2016-2017 school year, according to Business Administrator Christine Stafford.

However, if the district raised taxes only as much as the tax index allows, the district would need to cut $1.95 million by 2016-2017, Stafford told the school board at its Jan. 16 operations committee.

 “One thing that remains constant is the is still diminishing,” Superintendent Robert Gross said.

With about 140 students per grade, Salisbury High School has the highest enrollment of its four schools, Gross said.  He said the district will have to examine what this could mean for staffing in the next few years.

Stafford presented budget projections over the next five years based on the , which the board will vote on at the Jan. 18 meeting.

Among the budget projections over the next five years:

  • Health insurance costs could increase eight percent every year.
  • Transit costs, including fuel, could increase 3 percent.
  • Public School Employees' Retirement System rate (PSER)will continue to climb, but will not hit the projected peak of 27 percent until 2025. Pennsylvania will continue to reimburse the district 50 percent for social security and PSERS costs.
  • Revenue will increase three percent every year with the district's Payment in Lieu of Taxes Agreement.
  • Basic education, special education and transportation funding will increase one percent each year.
Scott January 18, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I graduated from SHS in the mid 90s as part of a class of about 111 students. At some point between then and now, classes rose to about 140. Perhaps there are recent historical records that suggest proper staffing and expenditure levels. None of this is a surprise and the admin should be able make it work without the further burden of Salisbury residents. If the admin points to growing retirement costs, then it's obvious that, much like other states, the public sector unions are out of whack with reality and need to adopt the Wisconsin plan, limiting Collective bargain to compensation and not allowing present day admins to offer disproportionate future/retirement benefit increases that they will never have to contend with.
Salisbury Resident January 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
No need to worry Scott. The proposed charter school(s) and PA Cyber School will make a dent in this scenario over time.
John May 09, 2012 at 04:14 PM
People already can not afford their houses. Ever see so many for sale signs? Keep raising the taxes and your enrollment will continue to decline. Look at the union, not the taxpayers.


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