Sound Off: What Do You Think of Pine-Richland School District's Proposed Budget?

The $63 million budget unveiled by the district administration this week calls for $1.5 million in cuts and no tax increase.

Pine-Richland School District's superintendent unveiled a $63 million budget this week that has good news and bad news, depending on how you look at it.

Good news: No increase to the 21.9084 mills tax rate on real estate.

Bad news: $1.5 million cuts have far-ranging effects.

What do you think of the budget? Do you view it as good news or bad? Tell us in the Comments Box at the end of this article.

Dr. Mary Bucci, superintendent of schools, gave a lengthy PowerPoint presentation at Monday's school board meeting that outlined the cuts and compared Pine-Richland's numbers to those of other school districts in Allegheny County.

To view the district's proposed budget, click here.

The school board will vote on the proposed final budget May 9 and then adopt a final budget at its June 13 meeting.

In the meantime, board Treasurer Dennis Sundo called for another meeting of the finance committee at 7 p.m. May 4. He noted at Monday's meeting that a 3.6 percent tax rate increase would give the school district a budget with no cuts. 

All three meetings are open to the public. They are held at the school district administration building at 702 Warrendale Road in Pine Township, which is directly behind Pine-Richland High School.

The proposed budget also includes reducing the district's fund balance by $850,000 to help close the gap between revenues and expenses for 2011-12.

Bucci's  presentation outlined $1,440,103 in planned cuts as follows:

  • $724,313 would be saved by not filling vacant positions. Those positions are for four custodians, five para-educators, pupil services, 1.5 teachers, a custodial night supervisor, a personal care assistant and a 10-month secretary.
  • $387,664 cut by eliminating positions for two para-educators, pool guards and supervisors, aquatics director, student activities coordinator. Overtime costs would be saved by eliminating the taping and broadcasting of school board meetings. Restructuring the central office staff and transportation/security position would also save money. 
  • $328,126 cut in a category called "reductions." It includes reducing sports and student activities; reducing the equipment manager's job to part-time status; reducing wages for athletic workers to minimum wage; reducing a teacher position to half-time (at the teacher's request). This category also reduces the staff development budget in half. In addition, it eliminates the Gateway to the Arts program, ELI membership, and meals and refreshments for various functions.

To further break down the reductions in sports and student activities, Bucci's presentation outlined the following:

  • $63,098 cut to athletics by consolidating middle school teams ($38,038), reducing officials ($9,860) and reducing transportation ($15,200).
  • $42,041 cut by eliminating the weight room supervisor, eighth-grade cheerleading coach, Fencing Club sponsor, SADD Club, high school stage manager, middle school Authors Club, all talent show sponsors, all intramural sponsors, all webmasters except the district webmaster, all audio-visual directors and the after-school reading supervisor.
  • $28,888 cut to "supplementals" associated with a class. This means cutting all non-marching instrumental band supplementals, secondary orchestra director, Eden Hall Upper Elementary orchestra director, Art Club sponsor, all choral director supplementals, literary magazine sponsor, all newspaper sponsors, all yearbook sponsors and the Odyssey of the Mind sponsor.


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