Board passes Proposed Final Budget for 2022-23

By Gary Weckselblatt

The Quakertown Community School Board passed the District's 2022-23 Proposed Final Budget (PFB) on April 28th. Following two years of no property taxes increase, the $126.5 million plan includes a 4 percent levy. 

In a 6-2 vote, Todd Hippauf, Glenn Iosue, Ron Jackson, Jon Kern, Diane Richino and Chris Spear voted in favor of the PFB. Brian Reimers and Chuck Shermer voted against. Mike Post did not attend the meeting. 

A resident with a home assessed at the district average of 28,709 would have their property tax bill increase by $194.

The Final Budget will be up for adoption at the June 9th School Board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. The regularly scheduled Finance Committee on May 12 has been pushed back to Tuesday, May 31 at 5:30 p.m. to allow the Board to receive the most up-to-date information as Directors hope to lower the tax increase. 

Pages 4 and 5 of this presentation to the Finance Committee explain the rising costs the district is facing.  Early in the school year, concerned about elementary class sizes, the Board added 3.5 teachers at a cost of $364K.  Further, after starting the school year short about one-third of our building aides and cafeteria staff, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with QESPA (Quakertown Educational Support Personnel Association) to improve recruitment and retention by raising salaries.  The cost of the MOU is $439K next year. In addition, after five new School Board members were seated in December, they made good on the previous Board's verbal commitment to complete the rollout of universal Full-Day Kindergarten.  That’s an additional $423K.  The combined costs of these initiatives is $1.2 million.  Combined with the $4.4 million deficit carryover, that puts the district in a $5.6 million hole.

For next year, QCEA’s contractual increase is approximately $2.4 million and QESPA’s increase is approximately $518K.  Additional personnel requirements for next year will cost $876K and include one building maintenance leader and six teachers in addition to the new FDK teachers. Combined, that adds $3.8 million to the $5.6 million commitments from 2021-22.

Click here to view the PFB.  Here’s a video of the Board’s budget discussion, which begins at the 2:04:35 mark. At the May 12 Board meeting, Directors considered ways to lower spending and lessen the proposed tax increase. The discussion begins at 53:15.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected]

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