TASB hedges on proposed budget
BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Tunkhannock Area School Board members attending last Thursday’s budget subcommittee meeting got a glimpse of the start of the budget process for the 2013-14 school year.
“At this point, this is guesswork,” committee chair Sandra Lane said, as they gave a look at a budget that preliminarily adds two mills to the 68.1 mills that property owners already pay.
Lane added, “This is just a formality and doesn’t preclude us from switching to something more or less.”
The board will vote this Thursday on the proposal.
If the preliminary budget figures are not approved by Feb. 1, business manager P.J. O’Shea said the district would have to stay within a 2.2 percent increase indexed for the district, which would equate to roughly no more than 1.49 mills.
O’Shea said that embedded in the preliminary numbers were a known increase of 35 percent in state retirement contributions, in which the district will be reimbursed half, and also $60,000 for security purposes (with $30,000 in contracted services and $30,000 in supplies).
During the school board’s regular work session, there was some initial hesitation about accepting Susan Gibbons’ retirement as a sixth grade teacher unless an early retirement option applied.
It got approved.
Also discussed was an update on a blended school initiative in which the school district would have a salaried individual overseeing program offerings to attract students who have been recently leaving the district for cyber schools
Assistant superintendent Ann Way said the district had lost 69 students who moved into cyber schools over the past year and that translates into $10,000-11,000 in lost revenue per student for the district.
The position will be discussed at this week’s public meeting of the board.
Also expected to be on the agenda is discussion about a driver education initiative that had been discussed the last couple of years regarding an increase in traffic fatalities among Tunkhannock Area students or recent grads.
The board had originally talked of sending the discussion to its transportation committee, then its curriculum committee, before deciding just to list it under new business during the regular board session.
The board meets Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m.