First Posted: 1/14/2014

Also, Dallas School District Board approved payment of $68,449 to Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, marking its final payment on construction of the new high school, duing its Jan. 13 meeting.

District Business Manager Grant Palfey presented the Dallas School District’s proposed preliminary 2014-2015 budget on Monday that, if passed, will result in a4.6 percent increase in property taxes.

The proposal reflected revenues and expenses of $34.76 million.

Palfey expressed frustration with the necessity of the increase as a result to limited state and federal funding available to the district.

“With federal sources contributing only 2.24 percent and state sources 29.96 percent, the burden falls to district residents,” said Palfey.

Board member Bruce Goeringer said the increased burden was caused, in part, by the pension structure mandated by the state.

“Should the state be willing to change its multiplier from 2.5 percent to 2.0 percent, the problem would effectively be solved,” said Goeringer, referring to pension costs as exorbitant.

Board member Karen Kyle said it was unfortunate it was necessary to draft the proposed budget early in the year, without the benefit of knowing exactly what state and federal funds will be available to the district in the upcoming year.

Palfey said the district has cut costs in recent years, but has retained a commitment to high-quality education reflected in its standardized testing scores.

In another matter, Rosaria Shaver addressed the board regarding its proposal to hold this year’s and future graduations indoors.

Approximately 40 parents attended the meeting, mirroring Shaver’s desire to see commencement ceremonies remain outdoors.

Scott Pertl said that, as a parent of a senior, he viewa graduation as a “milestone,” with an outdoor ceremony making it even more memorable, and allowing extended family members the opportunity to attend.

High School Principal Jeffrey Shaffer said there Are concerns regarding the condition of the sound system, as well as security issues.

“This is not a done deal,” said Superintendent Frank Galicki. “This serves to open future discussion on the issue.”

The next meeting of the Dallas School District Board will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10.

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