Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s) and Community Members:
Each year, Pennsylvania school districts are tasked with the job of developing annual budgets that meet the growing demands on schools while maximizing financial resources. Unfortunately, the financial support from state and federal sources has not kept up with the growing needs at Mars Area School District. District revenue from local sources far outpaces revenue from all other sources. In fact, local revenue accounts for 72 percent of the District’s total budget. The School Board and administration are keenly aware of the support that we receive from our community; and, we are grateful to our local taxpayers.
Thoughtful planning and strategic prioritization of district needs has allowed Mars Area School District to establish a proposed budget of $52,233,509 for the 2019-2020 School Year. This proposed budget addresses class size growth in our elementary grades; provides curriculum support; continues to grow our Special Education Department; and provides for increased safety for students and staff. More specifically, the budget adds:
- One (1) additional elementary classroom position to address class size
- Five (5) additional special education teachers to meet the needs of our growing program
- Five (5) additional para-professionals dedicated to support special education students and programs
- One (1) social worker to assist our guidance team and to address home-to-school needs
- One (1) additional school psychologist to meet the growing need of our program compliance for student evaluations
- Three (3) District police officers to work with two (2) Adams Township officers so that there is an armed police officer in every District building
- Curriculum materials and instructional tools to better implement our K-12 mathematics program
The District is pleased to make these investments in our students and educational program without seeking a millage increase. As always, we will practice sound fiscal management throughout the school year to avoid or minimize use of the District’s fund balance and to manage within our means, which continues to be fueled by our local tax effort.
This is an exciting time for our community and schools. This proposed budget continues to move the District forward in a fiscally responsible way while addressing the important needs that face our schools. The Board is expected to adopt the final budget in June.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the proposed 2019-2020 Mars Area School District General Fund Budget are available on the District’s website, www.marsk12.org. If you should have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the District offices for assistance.
Very truly yours,
Dr. Wesley Shipley,
For additional information regarding the proposed 2019-2020 Mars Area School District General Fund Budget, visit https://www.marsk12.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=793319&type=d&pREC_ID=1679310.