Wilkinsburg to lay off 43 workers, close school
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 10:15 a.m.
The Wilkinsburg School Board agreed Tuesday night to furlough 43 employees, close a school and raise taxes to balance next year's budget.
“It's actually going to make the school district more efficient,” Superintendent Archie Perrin said after the board voted to approve the $26.9 million budget for the 2012-13 school year.
The vote was 7-1, with Tiffany Lumpkin opposed and LaTonya Washington abstaining.
The budget is about $1 million more than this year's and includes a 1.67-mill increase to 36.672 mills.
For a house assessed at $37,300, which is the median residential value in the borough, school district taxes will increase from $1,305 to $1,367.
School directors had to close a $3.1 million budget shortfall that was created by factors including statewide budget cuts, increases in school district employees' health costs and declining enrollment, said Bruce Dakan, director of business affairs.
Furloughed were one principal, eight teachers, 15 teaching assistants, seven associate teachers, four behavioral health specialists, five secretaries and three custodians.
Five teachers have decided to retire or resign, leaving the district with about 130 teachers, Dakan said. The staff reductions will save the district $2.8 million, he said.
The board decided to close Johnston Elementary School, where 180 students were enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade this year. The furloughs will be based on employee seniority and certifications, so it's possible that some Johnston employees will be reassigned to other schools, Perrin said.
The closing of Johnston leaves the district with two elementary schools -- Turner and Kelly -- and a building shared by middle and high school students.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 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.