Work on school budget linked with state plan

Preparation of a proposed budget for the Kane Area School District is linked with a state spending plan released this week by Gov. Tom Corbett.Steve Perry, business manager for the school district, said Thursday that he is “gathering information” for the next Kane school budget.He said he will be scrutinizing the proposed state budget to determine how the draft will affect the Kane spending plan.“It’s a very challenging process,” Perry said in his report to the Kane School Board at its meeting Thursday.The school board previously went on record to limit any property tax increase in the next budget to the state index for Kane. This action does not require the board to raise taxes to the index. However, it does limit any tax hike. A school budget exceeding the state index requires voter approval at a referendum.According to the annual schedule, the school board will be asked to approve a tentative 2012-13 budget at its meeting in May. Action on a final budget is due by June 30.In her legislative report, school board member Stephanie Eckstrom said “once again, public education is slated to experience cuts in state funding.”She said state spending for mandated programs such as special education “remain at the same level as in previous years.”“What this means is that any increase in costs for these programs would shift to the local property tax base,” Eckstrom said.See full article by purchasing the Feb. 11 edition of The Kane Republican.