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Greencastle-Antrim School Board OKs contribution to LIU

January 06, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Greencastle-Antrim School Board on Thursday approved its contribution of $23,574.04 to Lincoln Intermediate Unit's general operating budget for 2008-09.

The 2008-09 budget is an increase of $993.52, or 4.2 percent, over the previous year.

The Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) provides special-education services to schools in Adams, York and Franklin counties.

Greencastle-Antrim's contribution to the operating cost of LIU represents only 3.5 percent of the total budget, Acting Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said. The operating budget pays for items such as rent and utilities. The district also is charged for special-education services from LIU.

However, the increase is in line with the index, Hoover said. The budget increase was due to cost of living, salary and fuel increases, he said.

In Franklin County, LIU provides support services both within the schools and at the Franklin Learning Center. The intermediate unit is funded through federal and state money and by the school districts it serves.

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"Each district pays a percent based on their enrollment," Hoover said. "For instance, ours is between 3 percent and 4 percent of the operation budget."

Although Greencastle-Antrim receives state money for special-education services, it is not enough to pay for LIU services, said Mary Frey, director of elementary education for Greencastle-Antrim. Money from the school district's general fund is what really pays for the services, she said.

"There are some kids so severely handicapped ... we don't have the equipment here (at Greencastle-Antrim)," Frey said.

Hoover said about 400 students in the Greencastle-Antrim School District receive intermediate unit services.

"We couldn't afford to do that all on our own," Hoover said. "We contract out to other school districts."

For example, there might be two students from the Greencastle-Antrim School District who are in the Emotional Support program at a certain grade level, so the Tuscarora School District might send some students to Greencastle to fill up the program, Hoover said. Likewise, Greencastle-Antrim might send some students to Tuscarora.

"It's basically Tuscarora and us that share (LIU) services," Hoover said.

There are six intermediate unit classrooms in Franklin County, Hoover said.

"(LIU) supplies the teachers and aides and students from around the area attend," Hoover said.

LIU also provides services such as curriculum development, professional development, grant consortiums and help with technology, Hoover said.

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