"The current rate is unacceptable, but it's a step along the way," said Perkiomen Valley School Board member David Warren Monday night before the board unanimously approved the preliminary, proposed general fund budget for 2011-2012.
As it stands, the preliminary budget's current real estate tax rate is 29.66 mills. Business administrator Jim Weaver's presentation noted that the annual tax on a home assessed at $180,000 would increase $274.26, from $5,065.20 to $5,339.46.
Warren's words summarized the feelings of other board members following the latest presentation at the work session.
The vote follows Act I's required timeline, but there is still more work to be done.
In other business, Superintendent Dr. Clifford Rogers announced the school year will be extended by two days, to June 22, to make up for snow days.
Board President Lynn Bigelow suggested not changing the school's graduation date, and to not extend the year beyond June 24 if more snow days are necessary. If it comes to that, the board will explore other options, including taking away a day from spring break.
Kevin Godshall, of Godshall Kane Architects, presented a Districtwide Elementary Study, which reviewed all PVSD elementary school facilities, with a special focus on South Elementary School.
Godshall gave three options for potential renovations to South, all costing within the $9 million to $10 million range. Board members expressed concern over funding; there are no immediate plans to enact any of the recommendations.
In other business:
• Executive sessions sandwiched the work session. The board held a formal hearing in the library from 7 to 7:30 p.m. After adjourning around 10:40 p.m., members went into executive session to discuss labor relations.
• Perkiomen Valley High School teacher Debra Berardi presented the family and consumer sciences curricula, taught in sixth through 12th grades in the district. Components of the subject matter at the high school level include food and nutrition, textiles, human development and consumerism.
Students experience hands-on learning in interior design classes, a ‘parenting’ class, budgeting for family, and a preschool in which students plan lessons and teach children ages 3-5, Berardi said.
There are also community service opportunities for students, according to Berardi. In addition to working with local nursing homes, students have also participated in Project Linus and Cookies for Cops, among other programs.