There are some cost increases districts have no choice but swallow, for example increased utility bills. To bridge the gap they must tell taxpayers to open their wallets.
Philipsburg Osceola school board members are contemplating a two mill tax increase for homeowners in the district next year.
“We're seeing increases in health care costs in the state retirement coming up and so the message from the school boards association and administrators across the state is - prepare now,” Dena Cipriano, P-O Spokeswoman, said.
P-o gets about 60 percent of its $27 million budget from the state, so the burden on taxpayers there will not be as heavy. Homeowners in State College will be expected to contribute more to close that districts $3.4 million shortfall.
“We don't have as much state money as lot of other districts but you know last year there wasn't a state budget passed till winter time, so there are always pieces of this you don't know,” Jeff Ammerman, State College Area School District Business Administrator, said.
P-o gets more money from Harrisburg because of property values in that district.
Still, having Governor Rendell sign a big check does not always make things easier.
“Anything could happen. It’s the state. That's the thing we don’t have any control over, what the state does. I mean we can certainly tell them our view points and that we feel investment in education is a worthy,” Cipriano said.
If the economy stays sour, this will be a recurring theme for districts year after year.
“Next year we will be dealing with similar type situations again and perhaps in the next couple of years,” Ammerman said.
Most districts are formulating preliminary budgets the next two weeks before deciding on a final version in June.