Following months of careful review and deliberations, the Hampton Township Board of School Directors approved a final 2018-2019 Operating Budget that includes a minimal tax increase while preserving quality programming and services in the District.
At the June 11, 2018 Voting meeting, the Board unanimously approved the general fund budget in the amount of $52,228,959. The budget includes an increase in expenditures of $1,496,043, or 2.95 percent, over the current year’s budget. Revenue projection at the 2017-2018 millage rate of 18.77 mills provided only $51,039,718 – a 2.43 percent shortfall in funds needed to meet the projected expenditures. In order to balance the budget, the Board approved a 0.18 increase in the District’s millage rate. The new millage rate for 2018-2019 will be 18.95 mills. The Board also authorized the use of $649,000 from the PSERS Stabilization Fund and $250,000 from the unassigned fund balance to offset the gap. The District has increased its expenditures by $3.6 million over the last eight years due to the mandated PSERS contributions.
Every aspect of District operations was explored during the budget-planning process. In May, Superintendent Dr. Michael Loughead presented the Board with findings pertaining to enrollment and class sizes. He noted that District enrollment has declined by 150 students; however, due to concerns expressed by parents – particularly at the elementary level – he would continue to monitor enrollment and class sizes and adjust professional staffing levels as needed.
On the curriculum end of the budget, Dr. Jacquelyn Removcik, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, provided the Board with a brief review of the breakdown of the expenditures for the curriculum resource budget for 2018-2019. The breakdown was categorized by building and grade level, and digital and traditional resources. The budget includes funding for English/Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies resources, as well as several electronic resources designed to improve skill-building (phonics, fluency, spelling) that previously were included as part of the technology budget.
Technology spending in 2018-2019 will include the continuation of the District’s 1:1 device initiative, funding for a half-time technician position and security assessment of the “human factor” of keeping the District’s systems secure.
The Board also approved 8 to 0 the Senior Citizen Property Tax Rebate Resolution for 2018-2019. It is the seventh year the District has offered the rebate program to qualified seniors. The application for the 2018-2019 School Year will be available in July 2018.