The Parkland School Board approved a $145.7 million preliminary budget for the 2013-2014 school year at its Tuesday meeting.
Although the preliminary budget includes a 5.82 percent tax increase, raising millage to 14.36, Superintendent Richard Sniscak and Business Administration Director John Vignone emphasized the increase was merely a "starting point" and would be lower when the final budget is passed in June.
"My hope is to bring forth a budget in May that includes a lower increase than the 4.35 percent that is allowed under Act 1," Sniscak said, "but given the uncertainties that exist in state and federal funding at this time, it would be irresponsible to recommend a lower increase until more information becomes available."
Sniscak said more staff cuts are planned for the coming year, "causing class sizes to increase and course/program offerings and organizational oversight to be diminished."
He said the district will seek a wage freeze for support staff this year.
Sniscak said the district faced a $9.59 million deficit last fall, although less than the $16 million deficit of the previous year, nonetheless it "is still quite a challenge and not a desirable situation."
Expenses are expected to increase 5.76 percent over the 2012-2013 budget, largely due to increases in salaries and benefits.
On the revenue side, Vignone said he was "cautiously optimistic" that earned income tax would generate about $200,000 and that real estate transfers are doing well. "People still want to move in" to the school district, he said.
A $3.5 million fund balance is projected.