Rhoads responds to Corbett's budget proposal

Following Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 7, Ridgway Area School District Finance Manager Brent Rhoads expects the district to receive about a .5 percent increase in the first year."We have analyzed the budget that the governor [Tom Corbett] has proposed and as you all know there is not a whole lot of money in it for the school district," Rhoadssaid during Tuesday night's school board meeting. "At this point it looks like we may be on the positive side of about $30,000 which is a half-percent increase for us, but there is still some language that I'm looking at.For instance, Rhoads said the Department of Education will no longer pay the IU [Intermediate Unit] directly for transportation, which will not become an expense for the school district.But in turn, the state has increased the district's subsidy which could offset the budget, Rhoads said.According to Rhoads, the main thing Corbett did was take four separate subsidies and combine them into one block grant, which the district has always received.Two transportation subsidies, one for public and one for nonpublic students; a basic ad subsidy, and the social security reimbursement have now been combined into one subsidy."The transportation and the special education [subsidy] were driven by formulas, but the transportation was driven by how new your buses were or how many miles you drove with students and without students and how many kids were on the bus; all of those things are going into a formula to determine that," Rhoads said. "Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.Next meetingRidgway Area School DistrictBoard of DirectorsTuesday, March 136:30 p.m.Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary Library