Bellwood-Antis teachers prepare for budgeting

School districts challenged by the lack of a PA budget

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Makala Doyle, Staff Writer

“A school budget is probably the most important single publication which the school district presents to the local citizens. It is the document which expresses the local district’s plan for operating its schools; the budget is also the expression in dollars of the school district’s educational program,” according to Utah’s budgeting overview.

It’s the time of year where schools and teachers have to plan their budgeting for the next school year. When budgeting, teachers are given so much money to buy the supplies that they will need to teach for the year. But with problems involving the state budget, it makes it just a little harder for teachers to get everything that they need. Here at Bellwood-Antis, all the faculty have been planning on how to spend the limited amount of money they get so that they can efficiently fund their classes in the future.

Art teacher Mrs. McNaul said, “I have had the same budget for the past couple years. Although you would think that this is good, it is hard for me because the prices of art supplies go up every year. With the same budget every year, it means that I have to get less and less every year to fit into my budget.”

I have had the same budget for the past couple years. Although you would think that this is good, it is hard for me because the prices of art supplies go up every year.”

— Mrs. McNaul

Head of the Bellwood-Antis Math Department Mrs. Frank said, “I have to coordinate with the rest of the department to make sure that we all have the necessary supplies for next year. As a department head, I am in charge of orders that are used universally: calculators, graphing paper, etc. I am also in charge of consolidating a budget and making sure that is does not exceed the budgetary limits.”

Mrs. Frank, and the other heads of departments, look at what the teacher’s list of supplies that they need for the next year, and they make sure that what they list is reasonable and within the budget that is given to them. After that, the lists of things the teachers need will go through a few more people until it is confirmed that everything on the list is necessary for the classrooms.

“It is always a challenge to organize the departments budget but in the English department we are lucky that many reading materials are available online. A lot of what I order then is novels to build my classroom library. In English we never go to the max of what we’re allowed to spend,” Mr Naylor, head of the English department, said.

There were many things factoring into this year’s budgeting. For example, Pennsylvania’s state budget was not announced until recently, and even then, many people had issues with it.

According to PennLive, “Pennsylvania’s House Republican leaders formalized opposition to distribution formulas for state aid to public schools that they say Gov. Tom Wolf has unilaterally and improperly implemented with the partial 2015-16 budget enacted last month.”

Many people had issues with Tom Wolf’s formulas used while calculating the budgets. Many have said that the formulas discriminate against multiple schools.

On the other hand, according to PSEA , “Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2015-2016 state budget includes a $400 million increase in the basic education subsidy and a $100 million increase in the special education subsidy – the largest one-year school funding increase in Pennsylvania’s history.”

So with some issues revolving around the state budget, does this affect Bellwood’s budget in any way? Should be more concerned about the budget?

We had to stay within the same budget limit from last year. So it probably will not affect us this year, but it might in the future”

— Mrs. Frank

Mrs Frank added, “There is a possibility that it could affect us. I was told that we had to stay within the same budget limit from last year. So it probably will not affect us this year, but it might in the future.”

While we do not see many issues with this year’s budget for the school, it is important to make sure to use the money wisely to benefit the school, and keep in mind that no one knows what the budget may be in years to come.

Bellwood-Antis High School Principal Mr. Schreier said, “All of the teachers do a great job when it comes to only getting what they need, while still maintaining good programs for the students.”

The main goal is to make sure that teachers have what they need to properly educate their students. Teachers at Bellwood-Antis seem to be handling the budget well.