Jenkintown Council Highlights: JSD Presents Fiscal Optimism

At last month’s Jenkintown Borough Council meeting, Dr. Jill Takacs, superintendent of Jenkintown schools and its business manager Zorian Dubenko presented the district’s fiscal outlook for the next year or two. With a slight bump in Borough property appraisals and a tapering of teacher pension obligations, Mr. Dubenko sees the District finally “turning a corner”.

According to Dr. Takacs and Mr. Dubenko, pension obligations rocketed from $182,000 in 2011 to $1.3 million this year. Barring another severe economic downturn, they claim the rates of increase will continue to slow.

Jenkintown tax payers should also take note that despite the property tax levies that imposed annual increases of 2.5% to 3.8%, the District still managed to maintain a cash surplus of better than $1 million over these years. Dr. Takacs described this as a “rainy day” fund.

In 2015 this “rainy day fund” amounted to a a $2 million cash pile. Two years later, property taxes jumped 3.8%.

Last year, the JSD borrowed an additional $1.2 million for their “capital fund,” from which they are spending more than $500,000 to build a security vestibule while at the same time soliciting bids to upgrade school building HVAC systems.

Dr. Takacs salary is currently unavailable for public consideration as it is rolled into a $1,285,776 million budget item labeled Administration Support Services. At the time she became superintendent in 2016, Jenkintown High School students had a state-wide composite SAT ranking of #19. Last year, the ranking stood at #36 after improving from #56 the year before.

The District currently services more than $19 million in debt against $17 million in annual revenue.

The District has posted its Powerpoint presentation here.