Home » AASD preliminary budget proposal increases taxes | News, Sports, Jobs – Altoona Mirror

AASD preliminary budget proposal increases taxes | News, Sports, Jobs – Altoona Mirror

by Arifa Rana

Apr 19, 2022
A preliminary Altoona Area School District budget presented Monday calls for a 4.9% tax increase for the upcoming school year.
Susan Franks, Altoona Area School District’s assistant business manager for enterprise and fiscal funds, presented the preliminary budget for 2022-23 school year to the school board Monday evening.
The proposed overall budget was $119,934,818. This included a proposed 4.9% tax increase, the maximum allowed by Act 1 as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Frank said the projected enrollment for next year is 6,912.
PDE says the base index is generally calculated by averaging the percent increases in the Pennsylvania statewide average weekly wage and the federal employment cost index for elementary/secondary schools.
In the 2021-22 budget, about 72% of expenses were salaries and benefits; 12% for cyber, transportation, private tuition and Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center tuition; and 5% for utilities and supplies.
“Everyone needs to understand this forecast is based on this year’s budget,” Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said. “You are not seeing increases in salaries, you’re not seeing increases in transportation, you’re not seeing increases in utilities, you are not seeing anything that we can’t control, including how inflation impacts costs.”
According to Franks, the school district has been using federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds for current programming, new programming created to help recover from the pandemic, capital projects, teacher salaries and other expenses.
There is enough ESSR money to last until the 2023-24 school year.
The proposed final budget will be presented at the regular board meeting on May 1, and then be on public display for adoption in June.
Mirror Staff Writer Cati Keith is at 814-946-7535.
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