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Neshaminy's Budget Gap Widens

Superintendent Louis Muenker announced that the 2012-13 budget deficit has increased.

When Neshaminy's preliminary 2012-2013 budget was presented to the public, it was marked by a nearly $12 million deficit.

However, Tuesday evening Superintendent Louis Muenker announced that the budget deficit could be as high as $14 million by the next school board meeting.

The increase in the deficit is due in part, according to Muenker, to 34 of the district's teachers retiring.

Muenker stated that the district anticipated in only 11 teachers retiring in the budget.

With associated payouts, insurance and unused sick days, 34 teachers retiring will cost the district almost $4.7 million, Muenker said, assuming that health insurance costs remain the same.

Muenker told the board and public that he will be making presentations in the coming school board meetings with his cost saving suggestions for next year's budget.

In the mean time, Muenker stated that he and the district's financial administrators will be taking "a close look" at middle school scheduling and staffing needs. They will also be doing a line-by-line review of each department's budget.

"Unfortunately, something will be cut, I don’t know what it will be, but we have no choice," school board President Ritchie Webb said. Even if the contract impasse is settled, Webb said that he imagines that "it will be difficult to come up with $14 million."

At the March 13 school board meeting, district business administrator Barbara Markowitz said that .

Muenker reiterated to the public Tuesday night that the district is still seeking suggestions from the community to help close the budget gap. He stated that the district has received about 30 suggestions to date, some of which he said were repetitious from previous years, some were new, some "a little bit out there," and some were practical.

Some of the community suggestions Muenker shared Tuesday night included training employees to use copiers and printers more efficiently, having building shared principals, eliminating school nurses, cutting music programs, eliminating after school clubs, charging the NFT $5 per member when the district takes union dues from their paychecks, gradually eliminating coaches' salaries, raising school event ticket prices, making sports pay to play and putting advertisements on the district's school buses to generate income.

Muenker only shared some of the suggestions, but said that he would be posting a representative sample of the suggestions on the district website shortly. 

He asked that the community continue to share their cost saving ideas with the district by e-mailing them to savingsidea@neshaminy.k12.pa.us.

Nicole Jenet April 12, 2012 at 06:25 PM
What do you think the district should do to close the budget gap?

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