The Redbank Valley School District Board of Directors, due to a lack of revenue, has placed a referendum on the 2020 primary ballot. The purpose of the referendum is to raise taxes by an amount beyond the value set by the state. Therefore, the board needs the community to accept and consent to the increase. The district has a projected budget deficit of approximately $1.2 million, and the school board can only authorize a tax increase of about $400,000.
In previous years, the district’s fund balance has been used to balance the budget. However, this fund balance is declining, to a point where it will not be enough to balance the budget. Currently, the district ranks 494 out of 500 in the state for tax rates. In addition, because of budget cuts, the district is spending less per student than the state average.
What happens if the referendum passes?
If the referendum vote passes, the budget will balanced, and all current programs and positions will continue as usual. The average homeowner will see an increase of around $267. (Click here to calculate the increase for your property based on the assessed value.)
What happens if the referendum fails?
Local school taxes will still increase by $400,000, the amount the district is allowed to increase taxes by the state. In addition, around $800,000 will be saved by cutting elementary music, elementary art, librarian, librarian aide, 2 elementary teachers, the Dean of Students, a high school secretary, athletic trainer, and a nurse aide. Security spending will decrease, and extracurricular activities will be asked to fundraiser an additional 10% of their budget. The sixth grade classes will be moved to the high school. High school athletes and members of other extracurricular activities will pay an additional $50, raising the pay to play fee to $100.
Redbank Valley School District provides education services for the 165 square mile area of New Bethlehem and Hawthorn boroughs, and the townships of Mahoning, Madison, Porter, and Redbank of both Clarion and Armstrong counties.
The Redbank Valley School Board meetings the first Monday of every month at 7pm at the High School Library.
For more information about the Redbank Valley School District, please call 814.275.2426 or visit RedbankValley.org/pg/biz/redbank-valley-school-district