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Leechburg school tax rate yet to be determined

Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Melanie Knight, of Gilpin Township, questions the Leechburg Area School Board about moving the athletic program from the WPIAL to the Heritage Conference during the school board meeting on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

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By George Guido
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

The Leechburg Area School Board is preparing to unveil its budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The board will meet again at 7:30 p.m. May 1.

Board members on Wednesday night didn't indicate if a tax hike is in the offing.

That will depend, officials say, on whether the number of teachers stays the same or one or two more teachers need to be hired.

Officials indicated the number of full-time kindergarten students registered for next year is more than had been anticipated.

In other business

• A school make-up day is scheduled for May 10 because of bad weather March 25.

• Resident Melanie Knight of Gilpin questioned the board's decision last month to move Leechburg's athletic programs from the WPIAL to the PIAA District 6 Heritage Conference.

Knight asked why the parents weren't notified before the decision was made.

Board President Terry Knepshield said there were several public meetings and newspaper reports on the issue before the decision.

Knight also said she was concerned about long road trips on school nights.

Superintendent James Budzilek said the Heritage Conference trips aren't much longer than the WPIAL road trips, citing recent basketball trips to Connellsville's Geibel High School, 48 miles one way from Leechburg.

Budzilek added that the coaches are on board with the decision.

Leechburg has a girls head basketball coach vacancy, the only position not included in Budzilek's discussions.

• District officials remind residents that school board meetings will start at 7:30 p.m. for the remainder of the calendar year.

• The Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit has a budget for next school year. Board representative Jean Stull said the intermediate unit's budget will be $2.9 million.

Leechburg Area's share will be $26,400.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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