Tube City Almanac

December 11, 2012

District's Fund Balance Better Than Expected

Category: News || By

McKeesport Area School District officials got some positive financial news last week from Business Manager David Seropian.

At the board's reorganization meeting, Seropian announced that the district's fund balance at the end of the fiscal year ending June 30 was more than $7 million --- almost $2 million more than was originally projected.

"The district had to make substantial budget cuts and continued to watch expenses throughout the year," Seropian told the Almanac this week via email. "We were pleased that the fund balance stayed basically the same, at slightly over $7 million."

The 2011-2012 Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30 was distributed to the board Dec. 5.

During budget talks this past spring, the board projected the district's fund balance --- something like a savings account, or surplus --- would be about $5.4 million at the end of June. Seropian credited the better-than-expected result to tight controls imposed on spending, combined with an increase in revenues.

The report is good news, considering that the school board needed to use just over $3 million of the fund balance to balance the current year's $59.8 million budget.

"This is a great job by all to have such a fund balance with all the budget difficulty we had to face," said School Director Tom Maglicco, chairman of the finance committee, in an email to the Almanac.

For the last two budgets, the district has had to face significant cuts in public education funding from state, as well as increased expenses, including debt service payments for the Francis McClure and Cornell construction projects; charter school tuition payments; and retirement contributions.

The board raised taxes the last two consecutive years, bringing the tax rate to 17.49 mills this school year.

According to Seropian, the district is forced to tap its fund balance when projected expenditures are more than projected revenues, or when it embarks on major capital projects, such as for the McClure and Cornell building projects, roof repairs to existing buildings, and stadium improvements.

Within the next few months the board will begin budget discussions for 2013-14, which district officials expect to be another challenging year.

The school board will hold its next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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