In what Wanda Erb, business administrator for the Williamsport Area School District, called “historic injection of money into basic education”, the district received a state increase of more than $5 million in basic education for the 2022–23 fiscal year.
“If you remember, when we were doing the budget presentations, we really weren’t sure what was going on,” Erb told the school board at its recent meeting.
Acknowledging that the governor’s proposal for education funding was phenomenal, Erb said everyone was saying “Stand back, don’t even think about it.”
As the district was set to approve the final 2022-23 budget, news from Harrisburg was overwhelmingly positive, so the board recommended no tax increases in the budget.
“I must say that I have never experienced, in my 30+ year career, the percentage increase in basic education that has been given throughout the state of Pennsylvania, but specifically in our district”, she says.
Of the $5 million, more than $2 million is upper-tier funding, which is awarded to districts that have a lot of students in high-risk categories.
State budget allocations for the district for the 2021-22 fiscal year were $27,991,368 for basic education and $4,885,526 for special education for a total of $32,876,894. For the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the allocations were $33,918,915 and $5,164,948, which totals $39,083,863. This is an increase of $6,206,969 for special education and basic education combined.
“So historic numbers for our district, much more than we originally anticipated,” said Erbe.
Erb said she believes state lawmakers “I heard loud and clear that public education really needs a financial boost.
In other actions, the board approved the settlement of assessment appeals of two business entities in the region. An appeal filed on behalf of Kohl’s Department Store, 251 William St., will reduce the assessed value of the property. The settlement will be based on a 2022 market value of $4,390,000 for the property. The new assessed value will be $2,677,900 for the 2022 tax year only.
An appeal filed on behalf of PMF Industries, Inc. will reduce the assessed value of the property to $1,934,920 for the 2022 tax year only. The settlement will be based on the 2022 market value of $3,172,000 for the property.
Other council-approved financial items include an agreement with the City of Williamsport, for the district to have its contractor pave a driveway south of Cochran Elementary School along with the roadway on the school’s property. school is paved. The city will then reimburse the borough for the cost of paving the alley.
The council also approved a three-year agreement with Guardian CSC, York, for a water management program for the district’s heating and cooling systems at a cost of $9,088 per year.