Tax increase coming for some Leechburg Area residents
After three years of no school tax increases, residents in Leechburg and Gilpin will see a slight uptick for the 2013-14 school year.
The Leechburg Area School Board discussed budget options Wednesday night and, considering the tax equalization process, property owners in the Armstrong County sector of the district will experience an average increase of $12.21 next year, while property taxes in West Leechburg, Westmoreland County will not increase.
School districts that cross county lines typically have different averaged assessed values and, thus, different millage rates.
Under the Leechburg Area proposal, the Armstrong millage will increase from 64.49 mills to 64.91 mills — an increase of 0.65 percent.
The Westmoreland millage will remain at 106.56 mills.
School board members on Wednesday night reviewed three options:
• One was to keep property taxes at the current level and not add to the teaching staff.
• The second option was to hire an elementary teacher and raise taxes 2.4 percent, the maximum allowed by the state without requesting a voter referendum.
• A third option was to hire two teachers and raise taxes 2.4 percent. A 2.4 percent increase would bring $80,000 to the district, according to Business Manager Mark Lukacs.
The school board will vote May 15 on a preliminary budget, complete with a breakdown of how dollars will be allocated.
After allowing a month for public review, the district must adopt a final budget by June 30.
A shuffling of elementary positions might be done to avoid hiring another teacher.
Only one teacher is retiring from the district this year. A furloughed English teacher will first be asked back before the district considers others.
To avoid adding a teacher, board President Terry Knepshield favors reassigning a fifth-grade teacher to fourth grade, where the enrollment is larger.
“This will enable us to keep classroom sizes at recommended levels with no programs being cut,” Knepshield said. In kindergarten through second grade, 17 to 22 students are recommended. In third through 12th grades, 25 to 27 students are recommended.
Kindergarten will continue to consist of one full-day class and two half-day classes.
In a further effort to keep cut costs, only two textbooks will be replaced next year — Algebra I and Civics.
In other business
• Residents were reminded that May 10 is a make-up day for students due to the March 25 snow cancellation.
• The new board meeting starting time is 7:30 p.m. for at least the rest of the calendar year.
• The board held off hiring a new girls basketball coach and a proposal to spend $20,000 from next year's budget for Veterans Memorial Stadium improvements.
• Interested ninth-grade students have the option to attend a tour of Lenape Technical School on Tuesday.
George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- None hurt in Springdale house fire
- Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
- Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
- Rainy summer delays paving projects in New Kensington
- New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
- Winfield Community Park restroom project stalls over high contractor bids
- Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
- Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
- USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
- Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana in New Kensington
- ATI workers retire early to ensure pension