Teachers, supplies on school wish list

March 04, 2004|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg School Board Wednesday night got its first look at what administrators want in terms of new positions, equipment and services for the 2004-05 school year.

Administrators came in with a list of 25 requested items totaling approximately $1.3 million - from a $2,875 radial arm saw to $103,078 for new musical instruments for the middle, junior high and high schools. There also were requests for three new administrative positions and 10 teaching positions, Business Manager Richard Vensel said.

"We know from the outset not all these requests are going to fly," schools Superintendent Edwin Sponseller said.

Even if all the requests were denied, Sponseller said the district is looking at a 5.47-mill increase in real estate taxes to fund the budget next year.


That was the estimate in January, but Sponseller said Wednesday the district's position may have deteriorated somewhat since then because of health-care costs. Property taxes were increased 1.54 mills last year to 56.79 to provide the local funding for the district's budget of more than $65 million.

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

Many of the requests were for additional personnel.

"We've seen an increase in (English as a Second Language) students across the district," said Eric Michael, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

He requested a chairperson for the English as a Second Language Department and a teacher at King Street Elementary for a combined $107,030 in salary and benefits.

Ted Rabold, assistant superintendent for pupil services, asked for one elementary and one secondary English as a Second Language teacher for $115,956 in salary and benefits. Rabold said the district had 130 foreign language students in 2000-01, a number that has increased to 353 this year.

Other requests included two dean of students positions at Faust Junior High at $37,761 each, an elementary support team teacher, an emotional support counselor, two guidance counselors and a reading specialist at $57,978 each.

Richard Bender, the superintendent of building and grounds, said he needed another maintenance man at $55,233 in salary and benefits.

A total of $84,000 was requested for the budgets of the district's 21 schools for supplies.

"All the buildings are raising money for things we no longer buy," said James Taylor, assistant superintendent for elementary services.

While the cost of everything has gone up, he said the allotment for the buildings has remained stagnant for 15 years.

A first draft of the budget will be unveiled at the April 14 board meeting. A tentative budget will be voted on May 12 and a public hearing on the budget will be held June 2, Vensel said.

A final vote on the budget is scheduled June 16, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles