Final budget vote for Penn Hills schools set for today
Penn Hills school board officials are stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to their 2013-14 budget.
On one side of the table is a proposal to furlough 17 teachers. That proposal met with a tie vote at the last school board meeting. On the other side is what district business director Richard Liberto said was really the only budget-balancing alternative if the furloughs remain off the table: restructuring more debt or as Liberto put it, “kicking the can down the road a little farther.”
“We would have to restructure $4 million of our existing debt service,” he told the district's finance committee at its June 17 meeting.
Liberto's original plan was to restructure about $2.3 million in debt service and push it forward into future payments.
Adding to budget difficulties, he said, was a lack of reform at the state level regarding charter schools and pensions.
“Those (potential reform) numbers were not figured into next year's budget, so it doesn't hurt us from that perspective, but it would've been a little more help,” Liberto said.
Among the planned staff cuts:
• Four administrators
• Five service aides
• Four clerical positions
• Eight teacher aides
• Four technology aides
High-school teacher and Penn Hills resident Justin Calderone asked how the district plans to supplement the technology aides.
“As someone who works in the high school, I can tell you that we had three aides this year, and it sometimes still wasn't enough to get the problems solved,” he said.
Finance committee president Joe Bailey said he'd met with members of the technology department “and been assured that there would not be a further delay.”
Calderone was skeptical.
“I'm not trying to be confrontational, but that's probably not going to happen,” he said.
A vote on the final 2013-14 budget will take place tonight, June 27, at a 7 p.m. meeting at Linton Middle School. Bailey said the teacher furloughs will be back on the agenda.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.