Mt. View lays out $21.4M budget

BY TOM FONTANA
Correspondent

The Mountain View school board held a special meeting on Monday, May 28, primarily to approve a tentative budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The proposal is posted on the district’s website for public view, and a final budget must be adopted by the end of this month.

Superintendent Francine Shea blamed the Commonwealth for the need to tighten the budget and possibly limit some programs and staff.

“There are mandates from the state,” she explained, “but no revenue to offset the bills to meet those mandates, resulting in a cost of diminishing opportunities for our students. There is nothing we can do about these costs.”

Expenditures for the 2013-14 school year are estimated at $17,863, 443. Total anticipated revenue from all sources (including a fund balance of $4,526,110) is listed as $21,405,517.

“We’ve had to look at expenditures and revenues closely,” Shea stated, “trying to make a happy balance. We don’t want to eliminate programs, but it’s been hard to control costs.”

A little over half of the proposed budget is attributed to Student Instruction, estimated to total $10,792,305. The cost of elementary and secondary regular programs is marked as $6,504,258; special programs at $3,337,903; and vocational education topping $480,144.

The anticipated revenue from local taxes is $7,404,134. Monies from the state could reach $8,983,893, with only $491,380 from federal sources.

When asked for examples of programs affected by budget restraints, Shea cited no funding for the “Arts In Education” program, and the ability to purchase only half of the electronic keyboards for a ‘start-up’ piano course.

Chad Hollenbach of Brooklyn Twp. asked about the status of the possible revival of a wrestling program at the high school.

“There will be money in the budget for a wrestling program,” board president Elwood Williams informed him, adding, “With the help of the wrestling booster club.”