Monday, May 10, 2010

Debt in School Districts

The Morning Call ran a feature story on Sunday on the Easton School District  (read it here). In the story it suggested that the teachers’ contract isn’t the only cause of its current budget and that the school’s debt is potentially a greater contributor.

In Nazareth we have a fair amount of debt ourselves. In the current tentative budget NASD has slightly over $8M in debt service (view the budget here), or 11.8% of our total expenditures for the year.

In the Morning Call article about Easton it states:

Borrowing costs next school year will account for 11 percent of Easton's spending, about double the statewide school district average, according to the most recent financial data compiled by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

So Nazareth is at the same level or slightly higher than Easton, and about double the statewide average when it comes to debt. And next year is not a one time occurrence, our debt has fluctuated between $7.5 and $9.2M per year over the past several years.

And despite this debt service, the looming pension fund crisis, and seeing what is happening at other area districts, Nazareth continues to spend money on new building projects (scoreboard and weight room at the Intermediate School) and more teachers (expanded all day K). It makes you wonder when someone other than Tom Maher is going to speak up and question the spending taking place.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

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