Saturday, June 18, 2005

West Allegheny ponders chops to school budget, plus school offers early retirement incentives

Beaver County Times Allegheny Times - News - 06/17/2005 - School offers early retirement incentives ... Cuts being considered include items such as not hiring additional teachers; eliminating study groups; cutting back on supplies, equipment, books, periodicals and software; eliminating a dean of students position; eliminating some foreign language programs; eliminating conferences; and eliminating after-school programs.

'We don't feel good about these cuts,' DiSanti said. However, he added, 'we can make (the cuts) without compromising the integrity of the program.'

District officials can further cut the budget by eliminating things such as two marching band assistants and several assistant football coaches, sports such as indoor track, hockey and bowling, and cutting back on resource and instructional support teachers.

'I guess everything's fair game,' DiSanti said, adding that those additional cuts would have an impact on students.

'(Without) resource teachers, there's really no place (for students with learning problems) to get help,' he said. '(The cuts) would take a lot of great things that have happened here in education and turn that around.'

While many residents have been outspoken in their objections to a tax increase, several who spoke at Wednesday's board meeting said the proposed cuts would mean only a small savings to the average taxpayer while deeply impacting the students.

'If (the savings are) so small, why eliminate the help for these kids who need it?' said Mike Kiss of North Fayette. 'Most of these programs are for the kids who need them.'

Joe Diven, a Findlay resident and former police officer, also questioned the proposed cuts in the sports programs. 'You cut these programs, and you're going to end up with nothing but problems with these kids,' he said.

In other suburban school news, I noticed that Pine-Richland held a 6-4 vote among its school directors with the outcome to NOT install a JUMBOTRON at the stadium along with two additional gym-based scoreboards. The new materials in the sports venues were to be at no charge to the district and paid for by Datronics, a firm that makes scoreboards. Meanwhile, Datronics was to be enabled to sell advertising to the tune of aprox. $100,000 per year for eight years to pay for the new display toys.

Interesting trend.

No comments: