Last year, the Baldwin-Whitehall school board approved a small decrease of 0.1 in its district's millage rate, down from 23.5 to 23.4. The year before, the rate fell 0.11 mills. The rate was cut by a full mill the year before that.
Each mill generates approximately $1.5 million in funding for the Baldwin-Whitehall School District.
Given Gov. Tom Corbett's $27.3-billion proposed budget for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a budget that calls for drastic cuts to many areas, including basic education – which is being reduced by approximately $500 million – should the B-W school board approve another decrease in millage?
The Pennsylvania State Education Association reports that the B-W school district, specifically, stands to essentially lose $1,555,278 in state funding under Corbett's plan, down from $10,356,550 in 2010-11 to $8,801,272 next fiscal year.
"If even I think we could reduce a 0.1 [for B-W millage], given what the future holds, I would not, at all, recommend any further decrease," B-W Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak said at a B-W Council of PTA meeting on March 3.
"I think we're still in a very good position, and I don't want to jeopardize the future financial resources of the district by reducing taxes again. That's where I'm coming from."
B-W school board President George L. Pry offered his thoughts on the matter as well.
"I think there's going to be every movement on this board not to raise taxes," Pry said in an interview with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch after a March 9 board meeting.
"Now, can we get there? It's too soon to tell. But I will tell you that there is a popular belief on this board that we want to get through this next budget without increasing taxes, and we're looking for ways to make that happen.
"If it doesn't (happen), okay, but we believe we owe it to the district to really try to make that happen."
What are your thoughts?
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