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Chambersburg Schools budget approved

June 11, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - After debating over how to spend 1.5 mills dedicated to technology improvements, the Chambersburg Area School District Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $53.3 million budget for 1998-99.

The tentative budget included a 3 mill increase in the real estate tax, half of which would be set aside for classroom technology. The spending plan, however, did not specify how the money would be spent.

At last week's public hearing on the budget, District Business Manager George Fike said the tax increase would be $19.16 for the average property owner. The mill rate beginning July 1 will be 123.5 mills.

A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The plan sets expenditures at approximately $51.8 million with a $1.5 million budgetary reserve. The budget is about 3 percent higher than that of the 1997-98 school year.

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Board member Stanley Helman offered an amendment specifying that the approximately $290,000 set aside for technology be spent on new elementary school computers, as well as electrical, heating and air conditioning improvements to accommodate the computers. He said that was one of the priorities in a proposed four-year technology plan for the district.

Board member William Fosnot objected to the fact that the technology plan had yet to be adopted by the board and there were no plans on how to incorporate the new computers into the curriculum.

"I say forget it until you figure out where you're going to start, what the middle and what the end is," Fosnot said. He said the proposed technology plan calls for spending $900,000 in 1998-99, far above the figure set aside in the budget proposal.

Board President D. Eugene Gayman said the technology proposal was an outline and would probably be adopted incrementally.

The board voted 6-3 in favor of the amendment and then 8-1 for the budget package. Fosnot was the lone dissenter on the final budget vote.

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