TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

East Allegheny School District's old issues resurface

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Related Stories

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 2:21 a.m.
 

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 pcloonan@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. 3 charged in carjack attempt
  2. Steel Valley rejects bids, says restrooms will be constructed in-house
  3. Homestead summit addresses ways to help inmates transition after prison
  4. Mon Valley spans in need of attention
  5. Legos, computers draw students to Elizabeth Forward tech camp
  6. 4-D Theater debuts at Kennywood
  7. Elizabeth Forward board OKs cost to move trailer
  8. Narcotics officers thwart Elizabeth drug deal
  9. Irwin woman waives sex charges to court
  10. Golf outing wraps up successful Invitational
  11. Elizabeth Township business forum draws a crowd