Wednesday, July 11, 2012
TEACH (Tell Everyone All Cuts Hurt) representative Steven Singer takes a look at the state budget priorities.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Hey, Taxpayer, While you were out trying to avoid heatstroke this summer, your state government actually did something. The Pennsylvania Legislature passed another one of those pesky budgets determining exactly what your taxes have bought you this year. I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind paying taxes if I get a good return on my investment. And what better investment than our children, our future? I’m speaking, of course, about public education. So was this a good return? Let’s see: GOOD NEWS PA BUDGET PASSED HIGHER THAN GOVERNOR WANTED: Last year, the Legislature cut $818 million from public schools—especially the poorest ones. This year, Gov. Corbett wanted $94 million in additional cuts, but instead the Legislature voted to cut no…
Monday, June 4, 2012
Patch takes a look at proposals around Western Pennsylvania.
Patch editors around Western Pennsylvania have been covering the hot button issue of school district budgets. Here's a look at what school boards around the area are voting to do: Baldwin-Whitehall The Baldwin-Whitehall School Board adopted a preliminary 2012-13 budget with an increase of 1.08 mills, totaling 24.48 mills. The board president said there would likely be changes to the budget before a final budget is adopted on June 30. Canon-McMillan Canon-McMillan School Board adopted its 2012-13 budget with a 1.59-mill increase by a 6-1 vote. Chartiers Valley Chartiers Valley passed its 2012-13 school year budget without raising taxes. The $52.22 million budget is a 4.77 percent increase over last year’s spending plan, but keeps taxes the …
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
For Pine-Richland, the question is: What's behind the doors?
Pine-Richland School District's $63 million budget is beginning to look a little like the TV show, "Let's Make A Deal." On that show, guests pick a door covering a showcase in the hopes of winning the prizes behind it. In the school district, four "doors" are up for consideration on the schools budget after Monday's three-hour meeting of the school board's finance committee. Behind Door No. 1 is Budget A. It has no tax increase and $1.5 million in cuts. This is the proposed final budget approved May 9 by the school board. A student activity fee is figured into this budget. The revenue generated from the fee would offset the costs of supplementals that were originally cut from the budget. Click here to view the showcase with this budget in …
Friday, May 13, 2011
Proposed schools budget calls for two paraeducator positions to be cut and five vacancies to remain unfilled.
When Dr. Joseph Merhaut speaks about special needs students and paraeducators, he knows what he is talking about at myriad levels. Merhaut is the father of Molly, a special needs student at Pine-Richland High School. He also is a former director on the Pine-Richland School Board. Besides that, he is the chairman of the Special Education Department at Slippery Rock University. Merhaut received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for outstanding teaching, scholarship and service at Slippery Rock University in 2009. So when he stood before the microphone to speak at a recent Pine-Richland School Board meeting, people listened. The possibility of cutting the number of paraeducators at the school worried him, he said, referring to …
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Fee would generate money for Pine-Richland School District.
A pay-to-play activity fee is being considered by the Pine-Richland School Board as a way to generate revenue and help close a $1.5 million budget gap. School Board Chairman Stephen Hawbaker estimated that if the district charged students a $100 annual activity fee to participate in any school activity, it could raise $100,000, based on what he called a conservative estimate of having 1,000 students participate. The idea was one of many discussed Wednesday night during a nearly four-hour finance committee meeting that was attended by all nine members of the school board. Pine-Richland School District's $63 million proposed budget calls for no tax increase; about $1.5 million in cuts are needed to balance it. The board votes on the proposed…
Friday, April 29, 2011
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…
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Speakers at school board meeting question cuts, suggest charging "pay to play" fees.
Pine-Richland Superintendent Dr. Mary Bucci rolled out the school district's $63 million budget Monday night that cuts $1.5 million by eliminating positions, not filling vacancies, and by reducing funding for sports and student activities. She presented the proposed budget to a packed room at the school board meeting. The budget also calls for reducing the district's fund balance by $850,000. Adding that amount to the $1.5 million in proposed cuts closes the $2.3 million gap between estimated income and expenses for the 2011-12 school year. The board votes on the proposed final budget May 9; the final budget will be adopted June 13 and a tax rate will be set. The budget presented Monday night calls for no increase to the district's tax …
Friday, April 22, 2011
Planned 2 percent health-care rate increase will not be put into effect, superintendent says.
Pine-Richland School District got some good news on the proposed $63 million budget this week and that means funding for certain students activities has been added back in. Money for partially subsidized club sports and partially funded sports, academic competitions, the musical program, forensics and the Technology Student Association -- which had been on the cutting block -- is back in the proposed 2011-12 budget, according to a letter to the community from Dr. Mary Bucci, superintendent of Pine-Richland School District. That was made possible when the district received word that Allegheny County Health Consortium will not go ahead with its planned 2 percent health-care rate increase, Bucci's letter said. The proposed $63 million budget …