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Norristown Area School District Officially Launches 2020-2021 Budget Process

The annual budget cycle kicked off earlier than normal in the Norristown Area School District this year. To ensure compliance with the state’s Act 1 timeline, a special public meeting of the Norristown Area School District Board of School Directors was held on Monday, January 6, 2020, to officially launch the development of the district’s 2020-2021 budget. At that meeting, the Administration and Board announced three key budget goals, including the commitment for no staff furloughs, the commitment to not use fund balance as a revenue source, and the commitment not to raise taxes beyond their Act 1 Index. The Board unanimously adopted a formal resolution that they would not ask for exceptions to exceed the district’s Act 1 Index and would adopt a Final Budget in June with a tax increase that would not exceed 3.30%.

“As a district, we are committed to being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers and recognize the high local tax burden already carried by our families and property owners. We have been focused on trying to minimize this tax burden while ensuring the district is financially strong and stable,” said Christopher Dormer, Superintendent, Norristown Area School District. “I believe our three budget goals represent a strong commitment to our entire community - to our taxpayers, to understand and appreciate their financial realities; to our students, to provide a comprehensive educational program that gets them life ready; and to our staff, to ensure that everyone that wants to work in the Norristown Area School District has a job next year.”

The District’s Facilities-Finance Committee will work closely with the Administration over the next few months on the development and review of the 2020-21 Final Budget. This Committee meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:00 PM at the Norristown Area School District Administration Building, but will hold their January meeting on January 15, at Norristown Area High School. All members of the community are welcome to attend these meetings. “All meeting minutes and budget presentations are posted to the District’s website,” Anne Rohricht, Chief Financial Officer, Norristown Area School District noted. “We have tried many different strategies to engage our community on budget and financial issues and will continue to do so. We want our families and taxpayers to be informed and we hope that they will attend these meetings and participate.”

Additionally, the Administration is already working closely to identify strategies to reallocate resources for reinvestment in areas crucial to student and community success. While still early in this process, the Administration is committed to reviewing spending plans closely so that new investments can be made during the 2020-21 school year. “While we are committed to exercising restraint when it comes to spending, we recognize the need to continually invigorate our programs by adding and expanding meaningful opportunities for students. We look forward to sharing such plans with our community in the near future,” Dormer added.

The 2020-21 Proposed Final Budget will be presented to the Board for approval in May 2020 and the 2020-21 Final Budget will be presented to the Board for approval in June.