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At its January meeting, the Ridley School Board approved the Act 1 budget resolution for 2016-2017. This provides that the school district will not increase local property taxes in excess of the Act 1 Index. The Act 1 index is set by the PA Department of Education and it presently set at 3.1%.
"By passing this resolution, our school district will not be eligible to apply for Act 1 exceptions that would allow us to exceed the Index," district superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel told reporter Barbara Ormsby of the DelCoNewsNetwork.
Wentzel said the district's budgetary projections indicate a potential increase of more than 18 percent for retirement alone. She noted the risk is compounded by the unknown status of state funding and there is a risk in opting not to request exceptions for special education and retirement.
"Without an equitable Basic Education and Special Education Funding Formula, we continue to have less direction for budgeting the contribution of state funds. It has only been made more difficult that funding for the current budget has yet to be clearly defined," Wentzel said.
Wentzel continued the district will work with the funds available under the Index to balance the 2016-2017 budget. She further said this may require additional cuts in expenditures without the ability to increase revenue beyond the Act 1 3.1 percent limit approved by the school board resolution.
A preliminary budget will be presented later this year with a final budget adoption no later than June 30.