Teaching positions, sports programs lost as Sto-Rox approves 2013-14 budget
Before his scheduled vote on Sto-Rox School District's budget on Thursday, board secretary Edward Maritz made a dire prediction.
If there's another year like this — with state aid lower than it was two years ago, rising costs of losing students to charter schools, and teaching and staff furloughs to make ends meet — the district could go bankrupt, he said.
“We have one year to do the best we can to lobby our legislators and our governor to make changes before this district goes under,” Maritz said.
The $24.04 million operating budget for 2013-14 was approved unanimously by the school board.
The budget keeps taxes at 22.6 mills and was balanced with $1.2 million from cash reserves and $800,000 in cuts, including 8 1⁄2 positions furloughed. Both spring athletic programs — boys baseball and girls softball — were eliminated.
The district will have about $1 million in its reserve account, and another year of deficits could send the schools into “financial recovery” status and state control, Maritz said.
Acting Superintendant Frank Dalmas declined to comment on Maritz's predictions.
The district cut 10 positions through retirements and attrition during the past three years. The 2013-14 budget furloughs an elementary school librarian, elementary school teacher, elementary special education teacher, home-school visitor who monitors truants, middle school science teacher, maintenance worker, secretary and cafeteria worker. The budget reduces a full-time music teacher to part-time.
School board President Elizabeth Smith said Maritz was asked to outline the district's possible financial crisis.
“Some parents have come forward expressing concerns about athletics, but not academics,” Smith said. “It was the board's hope this presentation would change that.”
Maritz urged parents and staff to contact legislators and support reforms to school funding, charter school tuition and tuition reimbursement — though he worries parents might lack motivation to get involved.
“People in this community are so desensitized to being marginalized that they just accept it,” he said.
Matthew Santoni is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Tennessee QB considers transfer to Pitt
- Video: Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist
- ‘Drink of the Devil’ unites formerly feuding families
- 4-car pileup reported on Bower Hill Road
- Central Catholic safety Petrishen to sign with Penn State
- Hillary Clinton’s charter jet costs scrutinized
- Mars girls basketball team goes on defensive
- Brownsville hopes grant can help launch project
- Oldies concert to give Charleroi school programs a boost
- Health the key to Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic girls’ season
- Penn State falls at Illinois on late layup