Penn Hills school board passes budget, furloughs in 5-3 vote
The Penn Hills school board passed the 2013-14 budget by a 5-3 vote at its Thursday night meeting, with members Heather Hoolahan, Denise Graham-Shealey and Jennifer Burgess-Johnson voting against it.
Outgoing board member Carolyn Faggioli was not present.
After an executive session which delayed the advertised start of the meeting by an hour, the board voted in favor of a $75.95 million budget, balanced through a combination of teacher furloughs and debt restructuring.
After an original proposal of 17 teacher furloughs, the final number was reduced to 11. The board vote on the furloughs was also 5-3.
Business manager Richard Liberto proposed a “scoop-and-toss” approach to the district's 2013-14 debt service, reducing the roughly $7.5 million the district was scheduled to pay down in the coming academic year and pushing it into payments in future years.
The board also voted to implement an immediate retirement incentive for clerical personnel who are 55 and older or have worked in the district for 25 years. The buyout package is $10,000 and $60 per sick day, and will be offered until July 31.
Another 5-3 vote saw the board furlough 16 non-instructional positions: four service aides, four technology aides and eight instructional aides.
Hoolahan, Graham-Shealey and Burgess-Johnson voted “no” in all three instances.
Three Penn Hills police officers were also present at the meeting. Police Chief Howard Burton said the district requested additional officers be present. Customarily, one officer attends board meetings, Burton said.
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.