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Summer school, overtime on chopping block

April 29, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board continued to negotiate its 2009-10 budget for the third time Wednesday night.

The anticipated budget deficit is down to $937,000. Funding that deficit still could require 4 mills of new taxes unless the board pulls money from savings or makes more cuts.

The $50 million budget originally was presented with a $1.4 million deficit.

Board members continued to hammer stipends for extra duties and questioned how Waynesboro Area Middle School Principal Larry Bricker will be replaced when he retires. One proposal was to transfer a high school assistant principal into the position without a salary increase and leave the high school position vacant.

"How can you take someone from assistant principal to principal without a pay increase?" board member K. Marilyn Smith asked.

Smith said the high school needs two assistant principals to deal with all of the issues that present themselves in today's society. That prompted board member Ed Wilson to criticize Smith for not being ambitious enough in looking for savings.

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"How much time have you spent at the high school?" Smith asked.

"I don't want to spend any time there because I'd be getting (ticked) off for all the money spent there" for construction, Wilson said.

Cuts agreed upon thus far include $200,000 in employee attrition; $31,500 by eliminating overtime; $67,000 by eliminating summer school; $14,131 by reducing travel; $142,346 from the supplies budget; $88,809 in fewer book purchases; and $28,521 less in equipment.

Also being considered are eliminating one technology facilitator; reducing money available for student custodians; not replacing a teacher's aide who is retiring; and reducing expenses for professional services, staff development and educational services. Mops and mats might be purchased instead of rented.

The board now is looking at extra duty pay, such as the principal serving as director of elementary education and the one serving as personnel services director. Board members questioned whether to eliminate the stipends or reduce them by a percentage.

Business Administrator Caroline Dean said she wonders how willing the employees would be to do the extra work without being compensated.

Wilson's response was in 90 percent of situations, if a boss asks you to do a task, you do it and are thankful you have a job.

The board has tentative plans to approve a preliminary budget by May 21 and a final one by June 16.

The board already took action, saying property taxes won't be raised beyond 4.295 mills, an amount Dean said would cost $72 for the average homeowner if the average house is assessed at $16,700.

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