School District Scrutinizes Spending
Staff at the Moon Area School District in Allegheny County are sharpening their pencils and taking a hard look at its spending to see where it can reduce expenses. In a news article the superintendent of the District said that “we are really focused on our budget” which is a good thing since the fiscal year starts on July 1st. Transportation, printing, travel, and contracts are being reviewed.
That’s likely welcome news for taxpayers in the District; since 2013-14, property taxes have increased 12% to 20.3028 mills this year. In three of those years tax increases outstripped the Act 1 index for the District as determined by the PA Department of Education; exceptions granted to the District permitted the increases above what would have been the allowable hike.
Moon was involved with a merger discussion with the neighboring Cornell School District in 2014; it also closed a school building two years ago. At that time the District had an interim superintendent (different from the current one quoted above) that spoke about furloughing staff for economic reasons, which was prohibited by state law at that time. The law has now changed and there is a detailed process for how economic furloughs occur. Could that be a provision that the District explores as it tries to avoid a tax increase for 2018-19?