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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco finance official expects good budget news when fiscal year closes



Pasco County school district officials have been working for weeks to balance their budget proposal for 2016-17, asking school and department heads to cut costs wherever possible.

The target for reductions is $6.9 million, chief finance officer Olga Swinson recently told the School Board. In finding that amount, she said, the board will be able to add new positions as needed and give everyone a 3 percent raise.

Closing out the books from the current fiscal year should be a big help, Swinson told the Gradebook. Rolling unspent funds forward is likely to cover close to half the projected deficit, she said.

The district also is awaiting final figures for its health insurance plan. The staff has recommended setting aside $2.5 million for increases, while still allowing employees to have a fully paid benefit option. Swinson said she was hopeful the district wouldn't need to use all the money it has anticipated, but she expected the numbers to be on target.

Board members are expected to have another budget review on July 5.

The district is expecting more money from the state for the new year, but officials have said the added revenue will cover the cost of increased enrollment but little more. The district's taxable value, meanwhile, is rising about $1.2 billion, to $24.8 billion, according to a May 31 estimate by the county property appraiser.

The local tax rate has not yet been advertised.

[Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2016 1:51pm]


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