Tonight, the Perkiomen Valley School District reached the end of what Business Administrator Jim Weaver called “a long process,” as the board voted 7-2 to approve the 2011-12 general fund budget.
Board Vice President Lori Snyder and member Capt. Sam Schweigert voted “no,” while Board President Lynn Bigelow and members Randy Bennett, Gerry Barnefiher, John King, Diane Landes, Bonnie Neiman and David Warren voted to approve the budget.
The budget includes a 1.6 percent tax increase—the maximum allowed by the Act I index without requiring a voter referendum (barring exclusions).
According to information released by the district, “the millage rate will increase by .45 mills from 28.14 to 28.59. For the average school district taxpayer whose home is assessed at $180,000, the approved budget represents an increase of $81.03 per year.”
When Schweigert announced that he would vote “no,” he spoke from the point of view of a retired person on Social Security, pointing out that recipients have been denied cost of living increases. He also voiced his disapproval of “education being based solely on real estate. I don’t like that now we are going to gambling. I think our system is going to hell."
“(This is) no reflection on this district,” he continued. “I’m proud of this district and everyone on this board.”
Snyder said she passionately believed that “education is more than academics.” She repeated her reservations from last week that the board’s approval of charging fees to only students who participate in activities—instead of every student in the district—would lead to only students whose families could afford the fee taking part in extracurricular activities.
“I must vote my conscience, and I will not vote for this budget based on this one issue,” Snyder said.
See more budget information here.