East Allegheny School District's old issues resurface
Many issues that confronted East Allegheny School District in recent years showed up on Tuesday night, along with a crowd that forced the school board meeting to be moved to the high school auditorium.
The issues are tied to budgetary concerns raised amid a two-day-old strike by 133 teachers in the East Allegheny Education Association.
One sign seen often on picket lines refers to a $2.7 million bond approved for Constellation Energy's overhaul of lighting and heating systems.
“It is something that is not necessary to do when teachers do not have a contract,” said Melodi Janosko, who has two children in district schools.
A school board member involved in negotiations said the bond issue isn't having a negative impact on the budget, and that energy savings will cover the bond.
“There was an investment-grade audit performed at the beginning of the project,” Dr. Frederick Miller said. “The intent of that was to assure that the energy savings would cover the cost of the project, in fact, the cost of the bond. We're already seeing electricity improvements and we will begin seeing savings in the heat this winter. There was no net cost to the district.”
The sign mentions expenditures of $111,000 on lawyer fees and $115,000 budgeted for future lawyer fees.
The reference is to fees that supposedly have and will be paid to the law firm where Michael Palombo, chief negotiator in contract talks with the East Allegheny Education Association, is a partner.
Asked by one resident how much Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller PC has been paid, district Superintendent Roger A. D'Emidio said “roughly $80,000 at this point.”
Another issue is the number of administrators and the contract that covers them.
Miller said the board passed the Act 93 contract for administrators on May 30, 2012, one month before the pact covering the teachers union members expired.
“You said you run this (district) as a business,” resident Thomas Barbarino told D'Emidio. “If you run this as a business, you cut the fat from the top and not the bottom.”
Some speakers, including Barbarino's wife, Tina, raised the question of reimbursement for administrators' continuing education and the lack of reimbursement for teachers.
Questions began after a brief workshop and picked up when the board acted on a brief agenda.
Directors approved memorandums of understanding between the district and the education association, one related to the starting time for professional staff at Green Valley Primary School and Pre-K Counts classrooms, and another modifying the workday for professional staff at the Early Learning Center.
The board approved Rachel Dindak as head coach and Shannon Coulter as assistant coach of the girls varsity volleyball team, and Nicholas Cortazzo as a volunteer assistant football coach.
Directors approved Shannon Roney and Kyle Zaspel as long-term substitutes and Kurt Retenauer as a substitute secondary English teacher.
The board granted leaves to Candice Tedesco, Betty Lou Stone and Joseph Volpe, and added Erin Petrosky (secretary/aide) and Jeremy Anderson (social studies) to the substitute list.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
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.
- Replacement fire chief, safety issues to top McKeesport agenda
- Experts offer Fourth of July safety tips
- Fast-moving storms strand Mon Valley motorists
- Steel Valley looks for replacements for 2 principals
- Former Kennywood worker held for court on child porn charges
- McKeesport woman headed to trial on arson charge
- Projects to impact McKeesport motorists
- Brewster picked for Smith’s seat on Senate Appropriations Committee
- Steel Valley directors approve iPad lease
- Disaster resiliency group looks to relocate to Steel Valley
- McKeesport man held for court in BB gun incident