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UASD faces 2022-23 budget shortfall

The Upper Adams School District school board heard preliminary budget presentations for the fiscal year 2022-23 Tuesday.

Business administrator Shelley Hobbs said there would be a shortfall of about $2.1 million that needs to be addressed.

Projected estimates for the 2022-23 fiscal year show expenses of about $34 million but an estimated revenue of of less than $32 million.

There are still a lot of unknowns in the new budget. State revenues are unknown and the proposed 2022-23 budget therefore does not include any increases in basic and special education or increases from payments for students enrolled at Cumberland Perry Area Vocational Technical School.

Estimated state revenues also do not include the Homestead Farmstead amount, which is not certified until May. The amount in previous years has been around $815,000.

Expense challenges include contributions to charter and cyber schools as well as changes due to contract negotiations.

Local tax collection revenue in 2022-23 is estimated to be shy of the expected 96.75 percent collection rate used for the 2021-22 year.

“We have to close that gap somehow before we submit a budget quote; there is a lot of work to do,” said Board President Tom Wilson. “We really need better information on what the state is going to provide.”

“There are still a lot of moving parts as we’re looking at budgets,” Hobbs said.

For the current 2021-22 budget things are looking fine, with local, state and federal revenues anticipated to be higher than what was budgeted. “When the state budget was prepared last year it was done after the board had already approved the budget and we’re actually receiving additional funding in basic education and special education funding,” said Hobbs.

Total revenue for 2021-22 will be about $32 million, including state revenue of about $13 million and local revenue of $17 million. The revenue is against about $31.5 million in expenses.

Another change that improved revenues this year was the transportation subsidy.

“Right now, I am seeing we have a positive variance of $565,879,” said Hobbes.

Hobbs said the Adams County Tax Borough will assist in estimating projections for the new budget

More updates will be presented as the board moves closer to the June for approving a final budget.

The board expects to adopt and advertise the proposed final budget at its next meeting. The final approval will be June 21.

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A.L. Grabenstein, reporter, is a graduate of Philadelphia's La Salle University with a B.A in Communication and has been a journalist since 2016. She has reported for the Gettysburg Times and the Times Herald in Norristown, PA. Grabenstein moved to Gettysburg from Montgomery County in 2019. She was born in San Antonio, TX., and previously lived in Virginia, and North Carolina. Grabenstein is actively involved in the borough of Gettysburg and loves giving voices to the local community.

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