AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Presents Proposed Final Budget for 2020-21 FY to Board

Allentown School District Presents Proposed Final Budget for 2020-21 FY to Board
Posted on 05/14/2020

Allentown, PA (May 14, 2020) - On Thursday, May 14, the Allentown School District Board of Directors and our school community were presented with the proposed 2020-2021 budget during the regularly scheduled finance committee meeting. Click here to download the presentation.

The Allentown School District (ASD) remains committed to a number of District priorities outlined in our Strategic Framework while facing a structural deficit, compounded by the new economic fallout of the COIVD-19 pandemic. The district has made great strides in the reduction of the deficit identified by Public Financial Management (PFM) back in 2017.

Early internal estimates for 2020-21 were more favorable than the PFM projections but still showed a structural fund balance deficit. ASD is projecting a negative fund balance in the amount of $7.6 million for the 2020-21 FY. While less than ideal, this amount is drastically less than the $109 million predicted by PFM during the audit.

“While no one could have predicted the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, ASD was already saddled with a number of fiscal challenges prior to the pandemic,” said Thomas Parker, Allentown School District Superintendent. “Year after year, we continue to cut back, while still working each day to provide high-quality education for the students.”

Through the district partnership with the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit (CLIU21) a number of robust internal systems were developed and implemented to improve organizational effectiveness and accountability, and thereby support in deficit reduction.  Despite continued deficit reduction strategies, it was imperative that the budget include a proposed range of tax increases, however, the amount of that tax increase has yet to be voted on.

The budget also includes $9.8 million in CARES funding, designed to specifically help alleviate the unprecedented fiscal challenges of COVID-19. This funding was announced earlier in May during a joint press conference with Congresswoman Susan Wild. This will be specifically earmarked to create opportunities and increased access to early education learning, college, and career access initiatives, and a meaningful family and community engagement.

On the May 28 regular board meeting, should the board vote to adopt the proposed final budget for public display, the PDE-2028 form will be available on the ASD website for review. A final special budget meeting will be held on June 29 in order to approve the budget.