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Frazier tentative budget includes deficit

| Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Frazier School District has passed a tentative budget for 2010-2011 that would require a 1.682-mill property tax increase to balance. Each mill yields $250,645 for the district. The $15.45 million expense budget has a $421,698 deficit.

Directors Deborah Vargo Alekson, Charles Petrosky and David Simmons voted against the budget.

The district must pass a balanced budget without such a large tax increase by June 30.

Directors voted several months ago not to increase taxes beyond the state index amount for the district, 0.514 of a mill. Business manager Thomas Shetterly cut $143,567 between the budget workshop and this week's voting meeting.

Directors approved a memorandum of understanding between the district and the Frazier Educational Association to offer a retirement benefit to staff with a minimum of 30 years of credited service in the state school employees system. Alekson cast the only negative vote.

Shetterly said after the meeting that the administration would seek more cuts and the retirement incentive had not been included in the savings. At least five teachers must accept the incentive for it to go into effect, Shetterly added.

Directors also dealt with another personnel issue — those who live outside the district whose children attend Frazier.

Directors adopted a tuition policy for full-time employees who live outside the district. Effective next school year, they will be billed $2,000 per student in kindergarten to grade 12. Full-time employees living outside the district may enroll their pre-K children for free if spaces remain after all district children have been enrolled.

The current rate is $9,000 per year.

Steven Brown, whose wife works for the district and whose children attend Frazier, requested that they be grandfathered in rather than attending their home district of Brownsville or paying the tuition.

"We were invited by former superintendent Mr. (Dennis) Spinella with Mr. (Donald) Martin at his side. He said no tuition. It's not ethical or moral to invite our children and then ask for tuition. We don't feel like we're getting a choice," Brown said.

"If it is legal to grandfather your kids in, I'm in favor of it," Petrosky said.

Solicitor Jack Purcell did not offer an opinion at the meeting.

Alekson said the reduction, which Superintendent Donald Martin earlier called a "professional courtesy," could negatively affect future taxpayers with unforeseen costs such as alternative schooling.

"I'm also concerned with nonresidents taking the place of residents in extracurricular activities," he said.

Petrosky and Alekson voted against the tuition policy.

In other business, directors:

• Approved a community YMCA summer camp program to coincide with summer school, which will run from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. with an afternoon snack. When summer school is not in session, the camp will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with breakfast and lunch. Half-day sessions will cost $40 per week per child; full-day sessions will cost $80 per week per child. Six-week summer school begins the third week of June at the high school for students in first through sixth grades. It meets at the high school. The camp meets afterwards.

• Approved a student tennis team camp from June 14-18 for students entering grades first through eighth. The cost is $20 per player. The camp will consist of two to three 90-minute sessions depending on participation. Registration is from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at the field house. The camp is at no cost to the district.

• Hired Kristie Bryner, Carly Evancho, Melissa Romeo, Mary Ellen Blystone and Ashley Young to teach kindergarten and Heather McManus and Tracy Dillon to teach pre-K for the kindergarten readiness/pre-K transition programs next school year.

• Named the following coaches: Becky Kline, middle school cheerleading; Kenneth Johnson, varsity assistant, boys basketball; Mike Steeber, freshman head, boys basketball; Dave Fedor, middle school head, boys basketball; Ryan Keebler, middle school assistant, boys basketball; Matt Keebler, volunteer assistant, boys basketball; Don Hartman, varsity assistant, volleyball; Mandy Hartman, middle school head, volleyball; Robert Ramsey; varsity assistant, girls basketball; Victoria Manack, middle school head, girls basketball; and Olivia Poling, volunteer assistant, girls basketball.

• Accepted the resignation of head varsity football coach Lewis Sweitzer. The position will be posted.

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