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Waynesboro School Board passes on cost sharing option

October 10, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Members of the Waynesboro Area School Board have agreed to pass on an optional state plan to review cost sharing among public school districts.

Cost sharing should be determined by the local administration, School Board member Larry Glenn said at Tuesday's board meeting.

"Everybody seemed to feel we were (already) doing this through the IU," Superintendent Barry Dallara said, referring to the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, a network of schools in Adams, York and Franklin counties.

The "Common Cents" initiative would send - at no cost to the district - a consultant to review 11 areas of operations. That person would then make recommendations to improve efficiency and save money, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Web site.

"We might get some recommendations we don't want to adopt because, at the local level, we know better," Dallara said.

School boards must decide by Nov. 1 whether they want to request a consultant's visit. Desired participation would be passed in a resolution and presented to the Intermediate Unit.

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"As of right now, none have submitted resolutions," Michael Thew said at the end of business Tuesday.

Thew is the executive director of the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, which serves 25 school districts in the three counties.

A meeting scheduled for Oct. 22 will allow for further discussion with representatives of the districts, Thew said.

Dallara expressed concern that, due to the district's aid ratio, recommendations from the consultant would not carry funding for implementation.

"There's no guarantee they'll be funded," he said.

"Our department's recommendations are not binding upon any school district. The districts themselves would decide what recommendations, if any, they want to pursue," Pennsylvania Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said in a news release.

Dallara provided the school board with a list of ways the Intermediate Unit already assists in cost sharing. It included information technology networks, access to instructional media and transportation of special-needs students.

Pennsylvania's 2007-08 budget includes $1 million for the Common Cents program, according to the education department's Web site.

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