Central Fulton Adopts Preliminary 2013-14 Budget
As a follow-up to last month’s discussion on the 2013-14 general operating budget, the Central Fulton School Board adopted a pro- posed preliminary budget last Tuesday as part of a brief but informative meeting.
Newly seated Superintendent Dixie Paruch along with business manager Kendra Reese led the newest budget conversation on February 12. Reese noted the district, at this time, remains in the red. To possibly rectify the matter, she said the district would have to raise its millage rate above the Act 1 index and therefore must ask for an exception from the state.
Paruch added an exception must be submitted by March 7, but even if granted, the district is not required to follow through with the requested higher real estate tax rate. It was noted the district is looking at an increase of 16.93 percent to fund PSERS retirement as well as an increase of 6.08 percent in health insurance expenses.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget indicates school districts could see level funding for special education and accountability block grants and a very slight increase in state funding for basic education, the superintendent said. Available state funding numbers are only tentative at this time and won’t be final until adoption.
Paruch concluded the district still has much time available to continue working with the board on the budget document, which will receive a final nod of approval in June.
Also under finance, the board heard a brief overview from its business manager on the 2011-12 financial statements prepared by Boyer & Ritter, certified public accountants and consultants. Reese told the board the statements revealed a $1.8 million fund balance as well as a clean audit. The documents were approved by unanimous roll-call vote.
In a follow-up motion, the board appointed Reese to serve as its newest member of the county Tax Collection Committee.
Changes were approved as presented in the February 12 agenda on how tax collectors, whether elected or appointed, are paid by the district. According to the agenda, 3 percent of the percapita and occupational taxes actually collected in the district during the course of the fiscal year will be paid to each of the respective tax collectors.
In addition, tax collectors will receive a set amount for the collection of real estate or property taxes. The Ayr Township tax collector will receive $8,500 per annum, while the Licking Creek Township tax collector is slated to receive $7,000 per year. Todd Township’s tax collector will receive a slightly lower amount of $6,500 annually, and the Mc- Connellsburg Borough tax collector is scheduled to receive $5,000 per annum.
Several individuals were placed on the 2012-13 extracurricular salary scale as recommended to the board. Those receiving approval included first assistant baseball coach Robert Koontz, $2,295; junior high baseball coach Brian Ramsey Jr., $1,730; Varsity Club advisor Michelle Eichelberger, $645; elementary intramural volleyball coach Heidi Johnston, $615; and Kenneth Welsh as a volunteer baseball coach.
Elementary teacher Valerie Alexander was authorized to take up to two days of unpaid leave between March 25 and April 5 if needed for travel purposes.
Looking at the topic of curriculum and academics, the board gave a nod of approval to the list of seniors anticipated to graduate in May.
Five students are slated to visit Franklin & Marshall College on February 20 to participate as part of a college summit and exploration of postsecondary school options. There is no cost to the district for the trip.
Multiple transportation contract revisions were given attention last Tuesday. Route #003 contracted with Joycelene M. Strait was amended to show an increase in daily rate from $200.10 to $205.22 retroactive to December 3, 2012. The rate increase was necessary due to the addition of another student and resulting extra miles to the route.
The daily rate for Route #1015 with Leila J. Decker was increased from $892.56 to $92.56 retroactive to January 2. Three extra students were added to Decker’s roster, requiring a double run up the mountain.
Route #025 contracted with Lynda S. Strait will see a slight increase in daily rate from $97.26 to $98.28 retroactive to January 4. It was explained to the board the raise was needed due to an alter- ation to a pickup and drop-off spot for a particular student.
A decrease was approved for the daily rate of Route #017 belonging to Sandy Deck Transportation. The drop from $234.86 to $195.63 is effective retroactive to January 15 as a result of a student no longer requiring transportation. In a follow-up motion, the board increased the daily rate for the same Sandy Deck route to $198.58 dating back to January 21. An additional student was added to the route’s roster.
Route #013 through Gary K. and Eileen S. Decker was granted a daily rate increase from $232.35 to $257.66 retroactive to January 18. A new bus is being used on the route, which has increased the rate.
Lynn Reeder’s Route #033 was granted a decrease in rate from $189.45 to $145.58 retroactive to January 29. The board learned a student is no longer riding on the route.
Everett residents Corey and Jennifer Snyder were added to the district’s substitute driver list. The Snyders’ credentials are in order.
Superintendent Paruch shared with the board persuasive letters written by Denise Mellott’s students on the topics of football and school security.
During her monthly report, special education director Ginger Thompson informed the board her department was given the opportunity to purchase two Smart tables at a greatly reduced rate. Teachers from both facilities will have access to the new equipment.
Meanwhile, middle/high school Principal Todd Beatty had several announcements as part of his monthly update, including that students Krista DeShong and Emily Wenschhof were awarded their FFA Keystone degrees. Beatty also reported 60 middle school students sent letters to families in Newtown, Conn., following the tragic school shooting. The students received a thankyou note from the Soto family.
Board member Roger Strait told fellow members and administrators he was approached regarding the board’s interest in placing an ad in the school yearbook congratulating graduates. Strait noted it is common practice in other districts and said the issue was something for future consideration.
During the board’s work session prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, building and grounds supervisor Brent Seville presented the board with research collected to date pertinent to improving door locks. Seville gave several available options and price ranges. No formal action was taken by the board.