Penn-Trafford officials suggest not replacing 7 teachers
By Chris Foreman
Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Penn-Trafford School District plans to pare its teaching staff by seven positions for the 2013-14 school year.
As district officials plan for the passage of a preliminary budget next month, administrators are recommending that the district not fill seven of nine teaching spots that are being vacated by retirements, Superintendent Thomas Butler said Monday night.
If the board approves the recommendation, 37 teaching positions will have been eliminated over a six-year period.
Butler said administrators can make the teacher cuts without affecting the educational programs in the district.
“That is a savings of well over $700,000 for next budget year, which goes a very, very long way to helping our budget,” Butler said.
If the proposal to cut seven more teachers passes, the teaching staff will have been reduced by about 15 percent over six years, Penn-Trafford Education Association President Shaun Rinier said.
When the teachers union president questioned the drop in student population over that time, Butler and board President Jay Tray said it was by about the same percentage.
Student enrollment has been steadily declining since 2003-04, Tray said. District officials said they expect about 350 seniors to graduate this spring, but the incoming kindergarten class probably will have between 250 and 275 children.
“There's nothing exciting about development in the area,” Tray said. “We're faced with a long-term problem, despite the quality of our school system,” Tray said.
Officials expect to pass a preliminary budget at the May 30 school board meeting and advertise the spending plan for 30 days.
With that schedule, the board then could vote on a final budget at its June 10 meeting.
In December, the board agreed to limit the maximum potential property-tax increase to 1.65 mills, which is based on a state-approved inflation index. After two years without a tax increase, Penn-Trafford raised taxes for 2012-13 by 1.6 mills.
In March, business manager Brett Lago estimated the district's revenues to be $49 million next year. At that time, he said the expenses were projected to be about $49.9 million.
Last year, one mill of tax revenue generated about $270,000 for the district.
Butler didn't specify any budget estimates this week, but said, “We are well beneath our index.”
“Once again, we've been very frugal,” he said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, 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.
- ‘Huge shock’ from prevailing-wage cost for Penn-Trafford
- Penn-Trafford officials consider lobbying for restoration of PlanCon
- Franklin Regional tragedy prompts Penn-Trafford to review safety plans