Vo-tech budget increases 4%
School boards must OK plan
Butler Eagle
Written by:
Sandy Pontius
March 11, 2013

BUTLER TWP — The Joint Operating Committee of the Butler County Vo-Tech agreed Thursday to forward the $4.5 million proposed 2013-14 budget to school districts for their approval.

The proposed budget is about 4 percent higher than the 2012-13 budget. It includes level funding for all spending except for salary and benefit increases determined by union contracts, said Joe Cunningham, director.

Five of seven school boards and a majority of school board members must approve the budget. The districts represented on the JOC are Butler, Karns City, Mars, Moniteau, Seneca Valley, Slippery Rock and South Butler.

Vo-tech staff salaries are about $2 million, or 46 percent of the proposed budget, and will increase $45,643 if the budget is approved. Benefits are about $1.3 million or 29 percent of the proposed budget, and will increase $119,381 over 2012-13. Supplies would run about $500,000 for the year, about 11 percent of the budget and the same as in 2012-13.

If the proposed budget is approved, Mars and Slippery Rock school districts would see decreases from their 2012-13 bills, while other districts would see increases. Here is the breakdown under the proposed budget:

✓ Butler — $1.29 million, up $21,626

✓ Karns City — $300,771, up $15,251

✓ Mars — $142,638, down $10,494

✓ Moniteau — $295,265, up $9,294

✓ Seneca Valley — $509,116, up $76,148

✓ Slippery Rock — $302,131, down $19,088

✓ South Butler — $394,396, up $17,658

James Nickel, a Seneca Valley representative, Thursday requested a more in-depth process to examine the budget more closely. He said he was uncertain he would support the 2013-14 budget.

The vo-tech budget is developed conservatively, with a “worst case scenario” in mind. At the end of each school year, excess funds are returned to the school districts because the vo-tech is required to end with a zero balance.

In 2011-12, for example, about $325,000 was returned to the school districts. Nickel would like to see that amount reduced.