After a for the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board wrapped up on Wednesday night, the newly constructed board conducted a regular monthly agenda meeting.
Some of the highlights of that meeting are as follows:
Preliminary Budget for 2012-13
The board discussed the possibilty of raising millage rates for the 2012-13 school year on Wednesday.
District Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak described the proposed tax hike—as much as an approximately 1-mill increase—as being a "worst-case scenario."
Korchnak said that, in light of economic uncertainty, approving a measure that would give the board the authority to raise taxes is necessary as a precautionary measure.
In no way does the board approving the ability to raise taxes constitute an actual tax raise, Korchnak stressed.
"We want to create the greatest (financial) flexibility," he said. "In order to do that, we have to a pass a proposed preliminary budget that would allow us to increase taxes should it be necessary.
"This is worst-case scenario. It's not committing anything ...
"We need that latitude, because we don't know, in the first week of February, what the governor (Tom Corbett) is going to come out with."
"If you don't do this now," board President John B. Schmotzer said, "then, our hands are tied. We have no options if we don't do this."
Korchnak said that he would not expect, even in a poor scenario, for the increase to be as high as 1 mill.
The board will vote on the precautionary measure at a later time.
Elementary Students' Choir Performance
Elementary-aged students from the district surrounded the school board to sing three different holiday songs.
music teacher Megan Kraus led the choir.
(Watch the video accompanying this article to enjoy part of that performance.)
New Fund Balance Approved
The school board did act on one item during Wednesday's agenda meeting—Policy 627, Fund Balance—which was approved unanimously and put into effect the next day.
The purpose of the school district fund balance is to be fiscally responsible and to preserve the financial integrity of the district.
"The school district will strive to maintain an unassigned general fund balance of not less than 3 percent and not more than 8 percent of the budgeted expenditures for that fiscal year," Policy 627 details.