KCSD greets 2016 with $82 million proposed budget

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New $10k scholarship announced, Kennett Legends nominations process proposed, impact of new housing within district discussed

By Kim Chiomento, News Editor, The Times

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KCSD board member, Michael Finnegan, provides a detailed presentation on the proposed 2016/2017 school budget.

KENNETT – The well-attended Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) January board meeting covered a wide variety of issues.  Top agenda items included a detailed proposed budget presentation by board member, Michael Finnegan; a discussion on the impact of approximately 500 new homes slated for construction within the district’s boundaries, a new $10,000 scholarship for Kennett High School (KHS) seniors, a new proposed policy establishing an official process for nominating candidates for the relatively new Kennett Legends award, and adopting clear guidelines for students participating in surveys.

Highlights of the 2016/2017 proposed budget include 3.01% real estate tax increase (29.4605 mils), which equates to an average increase of $156 per household. According to the presentation, expenditure drivers and top expenditures include salaries, benefits, contracted and debt services. The impact of both charter schools tuition reimbursement and property tax reassessments have on KCSD’s school budget were also discussed in great detail.  Ultimately, the first reading of the preliminary 2016/2017 budget was approved as read.

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Slide credited to KCSD proposed 2016/2017 budget presentation.

The board graciously, and very appreciatively, announced the Johnson Family Philanthropic Trust Fund’s desire to establish a new $10,000 annual scholarship for KHS seniors.  Mr. Gary Johnson is tentatively scheduled to attend the March 2016 board meeting to discuss the selection of KCSD for this impressive grant.  The board unanimously approved an agreement to establish this new scholarship.

During his report, KCSD Superintendent, Dr. Barry Tomasetti took time to thank and underscore the board’s unwavering dedication to the district’s students and residents,  “January is School Board appreciation month and it is important that we recognize the time each of our board members dedicates toward what is a 100% volunteer based position.  On average, our board members dedicate 10-12 hours of their personal time monthly to ensure the district operates at optimal level and meets the needs of all of our students.”

In other district news, a liaison committee has been established to foster increased collaboration between the three geographical entities encompassing KCSD: Kennett Township, Kennett Borough and New Garden Township.  The committee is scheduled to meet February 22, 2016 to identify future collaboration goals, evaluate the increased local housing development’s impact on district resources and also maintain open communications State Rep. Stephen E. Barrar (R-160).

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Slide credited to KCSD proposed 2016/2017 budget presentation.

The district continues its mission of investing in facilities, and over winter break, the successful installation of a new domestic water heater at Kennett Middle School occurred.  The replacement was a result of the unit’s lining deteriorating, analysis concluded that the heater’s life span would not extend beyond the 2015/2016 school year.

The following committee reports and accounts summaries were approved as read: Treasurer, Food Service Profit & Loss, Internal Services Fund Profit/Loss, Trust Fund/Scholarship Account, Student Activities Account and Budget Transfers Listings.

The next meeting of the KCSD board is scheduled for 7 PM, Monday, February 8, at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center.  For copies of meeting minutes, board schedules and other district information visit: kcsd.org

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Interested KCSD parents and students attended the January board meeting.

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