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Seneca Valley Unveils Early Preliminary Budget with $3 Million Shortfall

The district has until June to balance the budget.

Although it’s barely a month into the New Year, Seneca Valley already is working the numbers for next year’s budget.

At Monday’s school board meeting, business manager Lynn Burtner said early numbers show the district could face a $3 million shortfall for the 2013-14 school year.

“Now remember, the preliminary budget gets worked and worked and worked until we have a proposed final and a final budget in May and June,” she said.

The numbers, which Burtner called very preliminary, showed expenditures at $102 million and revenue at $99 million if Seneca Valley updates its current plan and rolls it into the coming school year only.

The numbers do not take into account changes in state funding the district may receive once Gov. Tom Corbett unveils his state budget, which he is expected to do in February.

When calculating the preliminary numbers, Burtner said she put a freeze on the amount of state funding the district received for the 2012-13 school year.  

“The numbers that come out at this time of the year have a lot of unknowns and best guesses in it,” she said. “At this point, we have heard nothing out of Harrisburg, so we are making assumptions about state funding.”

She said the district is in slightly better shape then when she unveiled last year's “first look” at the numbers with a $4.8 million funding gap.

Burtner said she is prepared to release a proposed preliminary budget to the public after the board’s next meeting on Monday, Jan. 21.

Officials could adopt a preliminary budget by Feb. 11. The district would have until June to approve a finalized balanced budget.

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