Pine Valley holds budget hearing

SOUTH DAYTON – The Pine Valley Board of Education gave its annual budget presentation recently and gave residents a chance to voice their opinions on the proposed school budget.

The budget totals $15,019,537 which is an increase of 2.7 percent over last year’s budget. For this budget, the district will increase taxes. This will be the first time in eight years the district has raised taxes.

The levy is set at $3,236,080 which is a 3 percent increase but still within the tax cap.

The district has faced a frozen rate for state foundation aid since the 2008-2009 school year. The gap elimination has also seen $2 million in revenue loss for the district.

Other costs have in-creased this year, including retirement, employee retirement contribution, health insurance and collective bargaining mandates, contributing to a tax increase. Superintendent Peter Mor-gante said that the district now has to look several years into the future. By raising taxes a little now, residents will not face a steep increase in the future.

“There are some factors we don’t know. We have to forecast five years out,” Business Executive Deanna Schettine said.

To keep budget costs down, the district is proposing to eliminate a UPK mid-day bus run, extending the UPK program to full day as well as eliminating a bus monitor for that run.

The district will also eliminate a .6 fulltime equivalent custodial position and reduce the number of sections of kindergarten from three to two. Grades 4 and 5 will have one section reduced.

The teachers whose positions are being reduced are not losing their jobs and will be reassigned.

In addition to the budget, voters will have two propositions to vote on. The first proposition is a transportation proposition for the purchase of vehicles not to exceed $336,538. The initial finance cost for the 2013-2014 school year will be approximately $55,000. The second proposition is for a non-voting student representative to sit on the Board of Education.

A resident asked why there were many double-digit increases within the budget. Schettine said the special education line was increased since the district tries to keep as many special education students in house and each student requires an aide. The Board of Education line has changed since many items were moved into BOCES’ budget line to receive aid on purchases and the technology line changed since the phone line will be switched to BOCES but has to be kept in the technology line. The addition of a soccer program for next year also increased the budget.

Residents will also be selecting three individuals to serve on the board for a three-year term. Incum-bents Jo Ann Anderson, Janie Waag and Lawrence Zollinger are running, in addition to Angelo Grazi-ano. Residents may vote on Tuesday from 12 to 9 p.m. in the Jr. Sr. High School at the new gym entrance.

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