A new report by the PA Independent has ranked the Spring-Ford Area School District 37th in the state in terms of its uncommitted general fund balance, which stood at about $15.51 million last June 30, when the numbers were compiled.
Across Pennsylvania, the PA Independent estimates that school districts are sitting on about $3.2 billion in savings.
Declining property values have pinched school district finances across the country over the past few years. Even after expenses are cut, many districts are forced to choose between hiking property taxes and dipping into savings.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association advises districts to only dip into cash reserves for one-time expenditures. Pulling more than 10 percent out of savings in a single calendar year has the potential to impact a school district's creditworthiness, making it more expensive for a district to borrow money through bond issues and other measures.
About 70 percent of the state's 500 school districts are drawing on their general reserve funds in their preliminary budgets, according to the PA Independent.
The 2012-13 preliminary budget was released in early-December at an estimated $130 million. Between then and late-March, the school's finance committee was able to decrease that budget to about $126 million.
The district placed $3.7 million in 2007 bonds into a capital projects fund to be used on a list of items over the course of the next few years. That money ensured some money to be freed up from the school's general fund. The decision to do so was made in December.
The Spring-Ford Area School District's board of education will meet Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the high school, 350 S. Lewis Rd., Royersford. School board meetings are open to the public.