A preliminary $73 million budget was passed by the Wallenpaupack Area School District board, May 14th. The new budget considers the elimination of five teaching positions, and the addition of other positions benefiting special education and the kindergarten department.

WALLENPAUPACK - A preliminary $73 million budget was passed by the Wallenpaupack Area School District board, May 14th. The new budget considers the elimination of five teaching positions, and the addition of other positions benefiting special education and the kindergarten department.

The 2018-2019 budget is subject to change depending on approval of the state budget and allocation of state funds for education. The state budget is required to be adopted by June 30, 2018.

Final budget adoption of the school board is slated for the June 18th meeting.

New expenditures include salaries, $393,931; pension, $414,450; health benefits, $481,405; new staff, $137,517 and debt, $435,615.

Savings are foreseen as follows: utilities, $26,000; transportation, $82,000 and staff attrition, $380,108.

2018-2019 staffing changes include the addition of one and a half Special Education teacher positions; one kindergarten teacher and one-third of a Consortium Special Education teaching position.

Five teacher positions are being cut from the budget.

The preliminary budget total for expenditures and revenue is $73,750,532. Expenditures are up 2.55%.

Projected revenue includes local taxes, $54,496,896; state, $17,707,793 and federal, $905,000.

As it stands at this point, anticipated local school taxes are to rise by 0.3853 mill in Wayne County, for a total of 15.0601 mills (an increase of 2.63%); in Pike County, the tax is expected to increase by 1.7362 mills, to 74.0884 mills (an increase of 2.40%).

Differences in the way real estate is assessed in Wayne and Pike counties explains why the tax milages are so disparate; Superintendent Michael Silsby has explained that the next tax dollars raised are comparatively the same for comparable properties.

Wallenpaupack school tax rates continue to be below that of Delaware Valley, Western Wayne and Wayne Highlands school districts.

[Other school board items are covered in the Wednesday print edition.]

The next WASD school board meeting is set for Monday, June 18 at 6 p.m. in the High School Library. A committee meeting precedes it at 5:30 p.m.