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Connellsville school board to hold taxes within states calculated index

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 9:58 p.m.

Connellsville Area School Board directors plan to hold taxes within the state's calculated index of 2.5 percent for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

January is the first deadline in the budget process each year. At this time the board has to decide if it will keep any tax increases within the index or if it plans to increase taxes above the index.

If the board thinks it might have to raise taxes above the index, then a proposed preliminary budget must be turned in to the state by the end of January.

That is almost nearly impossible, since districts will not know what kind of funding they will get from the state until about the third week of February. State funding is a large part of district revenues.

Since the board passed a motion Wednesday not to raise taxes above the index, the district doesn't have to have a preliminary budget done until the end of May. A final budget would have to be adopted by the end of June.

The millage in the district is 12.6 mills. The last tax increase within the district was in 2004.

In other district business, directors on Wednesday approved the 2013-14 fall athletic supplemental contracts. Ray Orndorff is the senior high assistant baseball coach at a salary of $2,470; Clint Weibl, senior high assistant baseball coach at a salary of $2,066; and Kyle Martin, freshman head baseball coach at a salary of $1,711.

Directors awarded a bid for replacement of aluminum planking at Connellsville Falcon Stadium to Gymnasium Equipment Company of Canton, Ohio, at a cost of $19,333.

District business manager Eugene Cunningham was named the primary voting delegate for the tax collection committee for Southwest Regional Tax Bureau on behalf of the district. The first alternate voting delegate is Cherie Routzahn and the second alternate voting delegate is district superintendent Dr. Daniel Lujetic.

Cunningham will also represent the district at the 2013 annual meeting of the Southwest Regional Tax Bureau. Routzahn will be the alternate representative for the district.

The board directed the superintendent and the district administration team to study the professional district staffing needs based upon instructional program requirements and student enrollment.

District officials will make recommendations to the board during February and March this year based upon the considerations set forth in the Public School Code, concerning whether any professional or temporary professional employee position should be maintained, added, reduced or eliminated during the 2013-14 school year.

If a recommendation is made to eliminate or reduce positions, the district would implement the established procedures through termination of specific temporary professional employees, suspension of specific professional employees or demotion of specific professional employees, obtaining approval from the state's Department of Education.

Lujetic said this is something the administration does every year, but last year the district decided to put it into a formal motion.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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