Monessen School Board approved a preliminary budget with a possible tax increase for the district’s 2019-20 school year during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.
According to Business Manager Jeffrey Festor, the proposed general fund budget is balanced and represents $16,139,672 in expenditures with a projected tax increase of 2.6 mills. That would increase expenses by approximately $175,000, compared to last year’s budget.
“Before the board adopts the budget in June, we may be making some adjustments,” said Festor. “We have to wait to see how things progress in Harrisburg. The state’s final budget may affect our budget. For instance, there is proposed legislation that would raise starting salaries for teachers to $45,000 and increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour. Those are the types of changes that could have a direct impact on us. But we are still hopeful we can chip away at budget increases.”
Added board President Roberta Bergstedt, “This budget is not binding at this time. We are still going to have some discussions to determine exactly what we will need to do to make this budget fiscally responsible while providing quality education for our students.”
The budget is available for public inspection by all residents in the superintendent’s office before the board adopts the final budget on June 18.
Festor added that the district does not anticipate making any staffing cutbacks for next year.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the 2019-20 general fund budget for Mon Valley Career & Technology Center. Bergstedt noted that Monessen City School District will receive a 3 percent reduction in its contribution for students because CTC was able to negotiate savings with the healthcare consortium.
- Entered into an agreement with Nutrition Inc. to operate and manage the food service program for the 2019-20 school year, with four one-year renewals.
- Renewed the Student Services Interagency Agreement between the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and the Monessen City School District.
- Approved a letter of agreement with Westmoreland Case Management & Support Inc. to cooperate in the development and ongoing operation of the Student Assistance Program (SAP). Terms of this agreement are applicable from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.
- Congratulated the Monessen High School boys varsity basketball team for a successful season.