2010-04-22 / Front Page

Central Fulton Tables Pension Action

District’s estimated share in pension fund is $960K in 2012-13; represents 584.4 percent increase
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Feeling it needed more information and facts to support taking official action, the Central Fulton School Board has agreed to temporarily table a resolution urging the state Legislature to address the financial issues related to the public school employees retirement system.

The resolution drafted by the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) and presented to the board states that increases to the retirement system would cost the Central Fulton School District and, of course, its taxpayers an additional $819,924.89 between the 2008-09 and 2012-13 school years.

“The employer contribution rate is projected to remain over 30 percent until the year 2020; over 25 percent until the year 2027 and over 20 percent until the year 2032,” the resolution states.

The resolution goes on to request the General Assembly take immediate consideration in reforming the school employee pension through “reducing projected employer contribution rate increases over the next four years and reducing projected costs to school districts, taxpayers and the commonwealth over the next two decades, while maintaining an appropriate pension benefit school employees.”

Suggested means of tackling the pension issue would be the approval of House Bill 2135 or Senate Bill 1185. The resolution concludes the acceptance of either bill would in turn make the Public School Employees Retirement System, known as PSERS, a “hybrid defined benefits/defined contribution system for future school employees.”

Additional information released by PSBA through the Central Fulton administration and board members further details the projected district share for the employer pension increase to be at $960,233.58 for 2012-13. The percentage increase from 2008-09 school year to the projected cost in 2012-13 represents a 584.4 percent overall increase.

In comparison, the Forbes Road School District is looking at a 534.2 percent increase, which will bring its pension payment to $363,114.25 in 2012-13. Southern Fulton’s projected district share in 2012-13 is $635,669.49.

Other financial information addressed by the board on April 13 included approval of the 2010-11 general operating budget for Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11. The budget, which totals $3,230,862 and includes a district share of $3,380 for instructional material services, passed on a 7-1 roll-call vote. Board member Christopher Hann dissented, and fellow member Hollie Garlock was unable to attend last Tuesday’s meeting. Additional costs that were not included in the budgetary figures and hinge on actual district usage include physical therapy, psychology and vision.

Personnel matters attended to were the placement of prom advisor Pat Decker on the extracurricular salary scale for 2009-10 at the set salary of $870, and approval of Robert C. Snyder II, James L. Babinsack and Arthur Jefferson to serve in the capacity of volunteer assistant track coaches. In addition, Gary Miller received authorization to serve as a volunteer assistant junior high baseball coach.

Middle school employee Carleen Grissinger was granted permission to take a leave through the Family Medical Leave Act, as was aide Susan Mellott.

A letter of resignation, dated effective August 15, was accepted as submitted by elementary instructor Patricia Myers, while fellow elementary teacher Sue Nesbitt resigned effective the conclusion of the current 2009-10 school year. Nesbitt is resigning for the purpose of retirement as is English teacher John Griest, whose final day of employment is slated for June 3.

McConnellsburg resident Garrett Fix and Betsy Clippinger, Needmore, were added to the professional substitute list. Their clearances and necessary paperwork have been submitted and are in order.

The Personnel Committee was given authorization by the board to hire a candidate, in the event one is found, on April 20 for the position of middle/high school emotional support.

A request from contractor Lynn Reeder was approved to replace a 1993 Ford van with a newer 2002 Dodge Caravan for operation on Route #033. The vehicle replacement is retroactive to March 1, and Reeder reports the Ford van will be properly maintained in order to use as a spare or backup.

The daily rate of Route #021 contracted to Doris Sheeder was changed to $7.56 for a 15-day period beginning retroactive to February 5. The change in mileage and daily rate was necessary in order for Sheeder to transport students to and from Fulton County Medical Center.

The rate for Route #021 was again changed effective March 3 to reflect transporting a student two days weekly. The daily rate was changed to $29.26.

Route #033 to Chambersburg, overseen by Reeder, saw a drop in the daily rate when transportation was no longer needed as of February 2 for a particular student. The rate returned to its original rate of $135.63 daily.

Furthermore, an additional student no longer required transporting retroactive to March 16 on K-4 Route #026. As a result, the daily rate decreased from $88.12 to $78.71.

In connection with adding a new student to K- 4 Route #035, contracted by Gary and Eileen Decker, the daily payment rate increased from $76.09 to $79.39. The increase is retroactive to February 24.

Teacher Lin Henry was given retroactive authorization to take five student to Williamsport High School on April 9 and 10. Cost to the district for the trip was estimated at $1,250.

Ann Meyer was scheduled to accompany three FFA students to the regional public speaking contest set for April 9 at no cost to the district.

Some members of the Class of 2010 were set to travel to Fulton Theatre on April 15 for a job fair. The trip was conducted at no cost to the district.

A request submitted by middle/high school Principal Todd Beatty was granted to allow an overnight stay for disabled veterans biking across America in mid-July. According to Beatty’s handouts on the 4,000-mile bicycle ride, the “Sea to Shining Sea” event begins in San Francisco on May 21 and will conclude on approximately July 24 in Virginia Beach.

Director of Education Dwayne Northcraft invited sixth-grade English teacher Denise Mellott and high school math instructor Jonie Dunkle to share with the board information pertaining to their involvement in two state committees. Mellott currently serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Model Curriculum Literacy Committee, while Dunkle is a member of the Model Curriculum Mathematics Committee.

The board wrapped up its meeting with acknowledging receipt of a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Education regarding the district’s single audit report ending June 30, 2008. The annual report and letter both indicate the district as being substantially compliant with the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-133 as well as other federal and state policies.

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