Clairton school board adopts budget, eliminates positions
Clairton City School District furloughed employees and eliminated positions prior to adopting a 2011-12 budget that included no tax increase or use of a fund balance.
School directors were in a somber mood at Wednesday night`s meeting as they voted 8-0 on several motions resulting in the elimination of a full-time English position and half-time music position, furloughing seven paraprofessionals, eliminating five 180-day substitute teacher positions and deleting two reading tutor positions.
School Director Roger Tachoir was absent.
Millage rates were set at 87 mills for land and 3.5 mills for buildings. One mill generates approximately $100,000.
Those furloughed are paraprofessionals Carlita Lester, Janice Hinkle, Terri Hinkle, Sh`ron Sloan, Gail Marshman, Monique Semian, Michael Policastro. Those affected by the elimination of the English and music positions are Jessica Wank and Keith Parton, respectively. Those affected by the elimination of substitute positions are Keith Parton, Tara Papson, Michele Engberg, Alexis Trubiani and Kristan Spencer. The reading tutors affected are Charity Eikey and Jennifer Schlata.
During those motions, board president Richard Livingston noted that the furloughs are a result of Gov. Tom Corbett`s education cuts in his proposed budget.
'Shame on him,' Livingston said. 'This will affect us deeply.'
District business consultant Chuck Lanna said Corbett`s proposed budget wiped out more than $1.3 million in state subsidies to Clairton.
A modified state budget shows approximately $525,000 in subsidies will be replenished, and the district is basing next year`s spending plan on those figures.
Livingston said if the state budget does not include the modified funds, the district will reopen the budget and probably have to cut all-day kindergarten.
Some school directors individually had what seemed to be a moment of silence prior to their votes.
Livingston said board members did not want to eliminate positions, but 'it`s because we had no choice.'
The 2011-12 budget was unanimously adopted after the furloughs were approved. Expenses and revenues were listed at $12,943,101.
Revenues include $3,168,370 from local sources, $9,019,831 from state sources, and $755,000 from federal sources.
Expenses include $ 5,743,376 for regular elementary/secondary programs, $2,587,010 for special elementary/secondary programs, $248,647 for vocational education, $85,872 for other instructional elementary/secondary programs, $375,582 for pupil personnel and $1,091,159 for administration.
The budget is posted on the district`s website, www.clairton.k12.pa.us .
The board also OK`s issuance of a $2 million tax anticipation note.
School directors shifted staff members into new roles Wednesday.
Elementary principal Deborah Marshall was moved to associate principal for discipline/attendance. Middle/high school principal Debra Maurizio was moved to associate principal for cyber school/in-school suspension. Dean of discipline Thomas McCloskey was moved to acting middle/high school principal. There currently is no elementary principal.
Departing superintendent Dr. Lucille Abellonio said her replacement, Dr. Wayde Killmeyer, will have some restructuring to do. Abellonio is retiring June 29 after a 40-year education career.
'We wanted to match the skills of our administrators to the positions, and we felt this would be a good match,' she said. 'We want to move forward from here and allow him to have the opportunity to structure the jobs with the individuals coming in. It was really a matter of putting people in positions that we feel will be most successful for the district.'
The board terminated the business administrator and child accounting contracts between the district and William A. Boucher, effective June 30. Livingston and district solicitor Dan Beisler declined comment, stating it was a personnel matter.
The board approved a medical leave for Boucher in January, and Lanna was brought in as an independent consultant at a rate of $350 per day to provide business management services for the district.
Citing state budget cuts, school directors also didn`t renew the contracts for counselor Robert Sims or in-school suspension monitor Jerome Wiggins.