One of the thornier issues in the Warren County School District budget is something it has absolutely no control over.
Namely, the Pennsylvania School Employees' Retirement System, commonly referred to as PSERS.
According to documentation prepared for Monday night's meeting of the school board's Finance Committee, the district's PSERS contribution is $2,129,115.65 this year.
The contribution is calculated by deducting a certain percentage 21.4 percent in 2014-2015 a nearly five percent increase over the current year, of the district's total payroll.
For next year it jumps by $562,374.10 with another jump of $431,356.57 the following year.
WCSD Business Manager Jim Grosch told the Finance Committee that the district currently has $1.2 million earmarked for PSERS. Additionally, he said that an exception was granted that will permit the district to raise taxes above the state-mandated index to help accommodate the payment to PSERS.
With the exception, the $1.2 million "would knock it out one year" and one half of the next year, he said. "In year three, you would have to make that back up."
Superintendent Dr. William Clark said that some school districts have dedicated real estate tax millage to the PSERS increases and he said the district, should the board so choose, could elect a similar course to help defray PSERS expenses moving forward.
And what would need to made up is in the realm of $1.6 million.
Without dedicated millage, Clark said, "We would have to continue to look at programs and staffing, all the things in a typical year-to-year budget" to make up the difference.