HONESDALE - The Wayne Highlands School District is offering passes to senior citizens who live in the district so they can attend public school events for free.
People 62 and older may apply for "Red and Black" passes after school directors unanimously voted to revise a policy regarding public attendance at school events. Red and Black is the school nickname.
"We look forward to getting this started," Superintendent Gregory Frigoletto said at the monthly board meeting Tuesday night.
The district "feels very strongly to give back to folks who have supported us," said the superintendent.
The applications for the passes are available at district buildings and may also be downloaded from the district website at www.waynehighlands.org.
Applicants must provide proof of age and residency.
Frigoletto said he hopes many people take advantage of the passes, noting the district is not worried about losing gate money.
"We're very excited about this," said the superintendent.
In other business from the meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve a 2015-16 preliminary budget, which includes a tentative millage rate of 15.9809.
The millage rate of the $50,909,712 spending plan represents a 3.65 percent overall increase from the current fiscal year. A mill is equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
The majority of the preliminary budget's expenditures go toward salaries and benefits.
Forty-six percent, or about $23.5 million, of the expenditures go toward salaries.
Twenty-seven percent, or about $13.9 million, go toward benefits.
The majority of the revenue comes from local and state taxes.
Sixty-four percent, or about $32.2 million, comes from local taxes. Thirty-three percent, or about $16.8 million, comes from state taxes.
About $1.1 million comes from federal revenue.
There also is a projected increase in the district's contribution to the Public School Employees Retirement System, or PSERS.
The contribution for the next fiscal year is listed at 25.84 percent, an increase of $590,527.
The contributions are expected to rise to about 31.96 percent in 2023 but then level off.
PSERS is mandated by the state and the district must follow the system.
The major preliminary cost increases include for salaries, $506,351; PSERS employer contributions, $1.2 million; and cyber charter school funding, $248,660.
Major funding increases include the state contribution for PSERS, $588,660, and a Ready to Learn Block Grant, $110,369.