Penn Hills school board approves preliminary 2014-15 budget
The Penn Hills School District Board of School Directors on Wednesday night unanimously approved a $78.2 million preliminary budget that raises the tax rate by 0.68 mills, to 24.154 mills.
Board member Joseph Bailey was not present.
Last year, the district technically lowered millage to 23.472, due to anti-windfall provisions put in place following Allegheny County property reassessments.
The budget is about $4 million lower than an $82 million projection put forth at the district's April finance committee meeting. Business Director Rick Liberto said the district is projecting more revenue than anticipated with regard to the earned income tax and other taxes, and a slight increase in state funding.
Liberto added that 22 teachers are taking advantage of the early retirement package offered by the district, saving the district upward of $2 million.
The board's agenda also included:
• A unanimous vote approving eight teacher furloughs.
• A unanimous vote to create a new position, an assistant superintendent of schools.
• Unanimous approval of the 2014-15 food-service budget, which projects a guaranteed profit of just more than $18,000.
• A 6-1 vote to table approval of retaining the services of a new tax collector, Irwin-based Keystone Collections Group. Board member Heather Hoolahan made the motion to table after it was made clear that no contract was available for the board to review.
Parent Robert Marra asked why the only document available was a rate sheet.
“I would never approve something like this,” Marra said. “This doesn't even say where we're supposed to pay our taxes. It's fly-by-night again.”
“Why are we doing it this way?” Hoolahan asked. “Why do we not have a contract in hand? If Mr. Marra hadn't brought this to our attention, we'd have voted on it, and that's a little worrisome.”
• The approval and appointment of assistant principals at the new Penn Hills Elementary School, which will officially open its doors on Aug. 9, according to Hoolahan. Current elementary principals Tom Iaquinta (Washington Elementary) and Sandra Barker (Penn Hebron Elementary), and Linton associate principal Darcie Gatti will serve in the positions under principal Kristin Brown (Forbes Elementary).
Board member Pauline Calabrese abstained from all votes other than the preliminary 2014-15 budget. Calabrese said she was involved in an accident and did not have an opportunity to properly review the agenda.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 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.
- Penn Hills district looks to cut transportation costs
- Bailey steps down from Penn Hills board
- Imagine charter school keeps next year’s budget conservative
- Penn Hills police department adds social media presence
- More expenses projected for Penn Hills School District, again
- Scout to restore, maintain abandoned Penn Hills cemetery
- Irwin finalizes deal with Lamp Theatre board