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Next Year’s QCSB Budget Could Include Tax Increase
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent

            The Quakertown Community School Board met last Thursday evening and discussed the budget for the 2023-2024 year and special education among other topics.

            There are several factors that the administration and school board are considering when proposing the budget, including healthcare premiums and salaries. A third look will be taken into healthcare premiums. Resignations and retirements, related to salaries, could cause reductions in the budget through attrition. 

            The 2023-2024 Tech School budget, State Budget (PDE Subsidies), Basic Education Funding (BEF) and Special Education Funding (SEF) are also under study.  Revenues for BEF and SEF subsidies do not include an increase in funding.

            The proposed budget includes a potential tax increase of one or two percent.

            The board will vote on the proposed budget at the April 27th meeting. During the board meetings held in May, an update will be provided. At the June 8th meeting, the board will vote to adopt the final 2023-2024 budget.

            The special education plan was presented by Janet Pelone.  The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires an updated plan to be completed every three years. It's a comprehensive review of the special education system which facilitates compliance with state mandates. This also certifies a quality education is available for students regardless of disability or personal need. The plan describes the special education program and services available in the district and the programs and services the district utilizes.

            The process includes stakeholder group meetings as well as input from parents, staff, and administration.

            Different types of data are reviewed to assist in creating the program. This includes methodologies, disproportionalities, oversight of non-resident, and/or incarcerated students, environment, positive behavior support, caseload and facilities analysis, and professional development.

            In other news, the Office for Teaching and Learning requested approval for PowerSchool Predictive Enrollment Analytics and a motion was made to approve the purchase in the amount of $16,882.37. It passed 6-2 with Ronald Jackson and Todd Hippauf voting no. 

            The program is an add-on to the PowerSchool suite of products currently used by QCSD and will allow the office to offer enrollment reporting in real-time, as well as support for future conversations regarding new developments, redistricting needs, or changes to grade configuration among other things.

             Jackson stated, "I understand there is a request from the administration to use it, but I still say, and Mr. [Jon] Kern has acknowledged in his comments, we have been pretty dang accurate with our own in-house staff doing the estimate. I don't understand why we need to change. Why do we need to spend the money?" 

            Board Member Charles Shermer responded, "I think this is an additional tool. It won't replace what we have… it's a level of assurance that may help us identify something we need to identify. This is one-year exposure at $16,000. See if we are any better. See if we like it and continue it. If not, we don't."






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