It was billed as the budget that had something for everyone to hate. While it may have lived up to its hype in some respects, this was budget surgery by scalpel rather than hatchet. Here’s the bottom line . . .
Act 1 budget limit (millage increase): 4.1%
Neshaminy budget increase: 2.29%
Average residential increase: $92
If you are eligible for a tax reduction through the State’s Gaming Relief funds, you will receive a credit of $211. This means that the average Neshaminy residential tax bill will decrease by $119 – quite an accomplishment considering there were no program cuts to education. Back in next year’s budget is 8th grade foreign language; gone are extracurricular participation fees and pool closures. And you can put aside fears about some of those other cuts like eliminating elementary school guidance counselors or librarians.
But the budget is not without its share of pain. Let’s not forget that dozens of district employees lost their jobs as a result of the 9th grade consolidation into the high school; midday kindergarten bus runs have been eliminated; and of course there is the dreaded tissue controversy. If you were present at Tuesday’s meeting you heard several citizens voice their displeasure over some aspect of the budget, once again proving there is no happy medium when it comes to education and taxes.
While we must continue our efforts towards responsible budgeting next year, we must also focus on improving our educational programs. PSSA results will soon be available and we’ll see if Neshaminy students continued the momentum from last year’s improvements. We have to keep an eye on the high school which will now house our 9th graders, hopefully with sufficient space. How well will the former Tawanka students adapt to classes now being held on NHS grounds?
Those are just a few of the things on our plate now, and I’m sure there will be many more challenges as the new school year comes around. But for now, that’s a wrap!
Anybody got a tissue?