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West Jefferson Hills school board adopts revenue-neutral preliminary budget

| Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 2:46 a.m.

West Jefferson Hills school directors gave preliminary approval to a $39.8 million 2013-14 budget on Tuesday.

The spending plan is about $2 million larger than that for this past school year, but may come with a reduced millage rate because Allegheny County assessments.

“In this budget we are revenue neutral,” district business manager Tracy Harris said.

While a final figure is not available because of appeals, as of February West Jefferson Hills property values had risen district-wide by 31 percent, with local increases of 29 percent in Jefferson Hills, 32 percent in Pleasant Hills and 48 percent in West Elizabeth.

Harris said a “revenue neutral” rate, as things now stand, would mean a reduction in millage from 21.08 to 17.46.

In turn, the final millage rate could be slightly higher, because the district could increase its millage by 2.2 percent, or to approximately 17.84, under its state Act 1 index.

There is no reduction in programs under the proposed budget.

The board approved adding a half-day kindergarten teacher at Gill Hall Elementary School while at McClellan Elementary a half-day kindergarten teacher would be replaced by a full-day teacher.

A part-time foreign language teacher would be replaced by a full-time teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School.

A final vote on the budget is slated for June 27 at 7:30 p.m.

In other actions, the board approved:

• A new four-year term for Harris as board secretary.

• A $574,900 contract to Tuscano-Maher Roofing Inc. for roof replacement at Gill Hall Elementary School.

• A $358,709 contract for Shaw Sports Turf to replace the Thomas Jefferson High School stadium turf.

• A $296,538 installation and $54,000 support contract with Idealintegrations to transfer operating systems and workstations from Novell to Windows.

The Tuscano-Maher, Shaw Sports Turf and Idealintegrations contracts will be paid out of the district's Capital Fund.

• A $20,160 renewal of the OnHand Schools Inc. EdInsight Program for the 2013-14 school year.

• A $10,931.45 renewal of Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader Program for 2013-14.

• An $8,625.12 purchase of two sets of the Treasures Reading Series for sixth grade from McGraw-Hill.

• A $4,960 renewal of the ASSET STEM Education Membership Agreement for 2013-14.

• Renewal at $1 per student of the DIBELS net Data Management and Reporting Service from Dynamic Measurement Group Inc. for 2013-14.

The OnHand Schools, Renaissance Learning, McGraw-Hill, ASSET STEM and Dynamic Measurement Group Inc. purchases will be paid out of the district's General Fund.

• A $74,750 contract for Pittsburgh Lawn Care to provide landscaping services, at a minimum of 110 hours per week.

• Enrollment of two students in Wesley Spectrum Academy programs and a contractual agreement for a third student in a Wesley program.

• A resolution urging reforms in the state's charter and cyber charter school funding formulas, which will be sent to local state lawmakers and legislative leaders.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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