Advertisement

Board opts to pay down debt with surplus

Board member Stephen Kulla casts the only dissenting vote, asking the board to restore cuts to the district's art program

Board member Stephen Kulla casts the only dissenting vote, asking the board to restore cuts to the district's art program

July 17, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board agreed Tuesday to use unexpected state education funding to pay down the school district's debt.

On June 25, the school board - anticipating about $75,000 in the next state budget - reduced next year's tax increase from 1.91 mills to 1.50 mills.

A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property values.

A few days later, the state legislature passed a budget that included about $144,000 for Waynesboro.

School Board President Lawrence M. Glenn said Tuesday that the district has three choices for the $144,000: restore programs that were eliminated; refund taxes or reduce the tax rate; or pay down the debt.

Advertisement

The money cannot be used to replenish the district's unreserved fund balance, from which the $75,000 was transferred, board member Leland Lemley said.

Glenn suggested paying down the debt.

Board member Anna Bostwick-Foley agreed, adding, "It would save a lot of money in the long run."

Board member K. Marilyn Smith said it is not practical to use the money to reduce the current tax burden because it would cost as much as $10,000 to send out new bills.

Lemley recommended crediting next year's tax bills, but ultimately the board decided on reducing the district's debt.

The vote in favor was 8-1.

Board member Stephen Kulla cast the only dissenting vote.

He called for the money to go toward restoring cuts to the elementary art program.

Art instruction for fifth- and sixth-graders was cut in half last month so the district could introduce a Spanish-language curriculum.

Kulla argued that it was a misguided attempt to save money. "Now, we can reverse a bad decision," he said.

None of the other board members supported his idea.

Board member Chris Devers said he voted for the Spanish program because parents wanted it, not because of the money involved.

Board member Stanley Barkdoll said Kulla's request wasn't possible because the art program was "rearranged," not cut.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|