Yesterday I laid out the basics of the preliminary budget and some of the challenges associated with creating the budget. Today I will discuss where the school district gets the money to operate. Of the total budget, the local share (which comes from local taxes) is $4,834952, or 41% of the budget. The State contributes $7,305,804, or 57% of the budget. Finally, the Federal Giovernment contributes $198,300, or 2% of the budget. If you have a calculator handy you will notice that these numbers do not add up to our totaal budget of $12,714,669. This preliminary budget has the school district using $225,613 from our budget reserve (savings account). Additionally the school district has a $150,000 grant contingency in the budget. This simply allows the district to spend any grant money that may arise throughout the year.
What is interesting about where the money comes from is the influence the people giving the money have on our schools. For example, the feds contribute very little to our budget, but exert an enormous influence on how we operate the schools through No Child left Behind. Their influence does not match their contribution. On the other hand, the State does contribute the majority amount of money to our budget. As a matter of fact, over the last 5 years the local share of the budget has decreased 3%, while the State share has increased 3%. Politicians in other parts of the State ask themsleves why their constituents (through taxes they pay) have to pay to educate students in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. Although our share of the budget paid by the State is not the highest in the State, it is above average. These are all interesting questions. I want to think that people pay taxes because they know that they are contributing to the "common good" and that education is the best investment for your money. Some may disagree with that assessment.