Boyertown School Board proposes budget of $97 million

The Boyertown School Board of Directors met Tuesday, April 23 at Pine Forge Elementary School to discuss the 2013-2014 budget, approving a proposed budget of $97 million.

In accordance with Special SessionAct 1 of 2006, the district mustadopt a final proposed budget and establish the proposed real estate tax rates for theupcoming school year. The final proposed budget will be available foratleast 30 days prior tothe adoption of the final Budget.

The final budget will be adopted at the June 4 school board meeting.

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The preliminary Real Estate Millage for the 2013-2014 fiscal year is projected at22.57 mills, a 3.15 percentincrease, for Berks County and 22.98 mills, a 2.18 percentincrease, for Montgomery County.

The board approved the budget proposal 5-2, John R. Crossley and Joseph Nichols did not attend the meeting.

Board members Ruth A. Dierolf and Robert J. Haas voted against the proposed final budget.

Business Administrator David Szablowski gave a presentation in regard to how the budget would look for the coming year.

In the report, the tax increase is currently proposed at 2.7%.

The budget report included an employment update stating that there would be 10 new budgeted staff added for the coming 2013-2014 school year: six new professionals, one maintenance technician, one assistant athletic trainer and two para-professionals.

Six of the 10 individuals were hired in an effort to reduce class sizes and to provide an emotional support program at the elementary level.

The budget report also indicated a decrease in the instructional supplies including books and software.

“Why are we doing that? Because the focus is not been a whole lot on textbooks anymore, it’s been on technology. So we’ll see a shift from textbooks and instructional supplies towards the technology like iPads and iPods,” stated Szablowski.

The board meeting was kicked off with a presentation by Pine Forge principal Laura Heineck. Heineck discussed how children are now using iPods at the school for various math and reading activities.

The third graders of Pine Forge put on a performance of two of their songs from their spring concert, the first of which was a musical version of the preamble to the constitution—all sang from memory. The next song demonstrated the students’ dancing ability as they sang and danced to the song Alabama girl all acapella. After the performance, the third graders presented the members of the board with a rose in honor of the American Rose Society.