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School board shaves deficit to $713K

May 19, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board on Tuesday shaved its budget deficit to $713,000 and passed an approximately $50 million preliminary budget.

The deficit was originally presented at $1.4 million, but was reduced by eliminating a fourth-grade teaching position at Mowrey Elementary School, reducing natural gas allowances, reducing communications costs, and, most recently, eliminating all stipends for extra pay.

The preliminary budget was passed on a 5-3 motion, with K. Marilyn Smith, John Fitz, Mindy Rouzer, Pat Heefner and Greg Ochoa voting in favor of the motion made by Heefner. Firmadge Crutchfield, Leland Lemley and Ed Wilson voted "no."

Smith, the board's president, said state Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, confirmed the district might not get an additional $800,000 anticipated through stimulus funds. The Senate passed a proposal that would keep education funding at the 2008-09 level.

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The $800,000 was included in drafts of the 2009-10 budget, and the actual amount being distributed to schools won't be known until the legislature passes its budget, Smith said.

The public has 30 days to review the budget before the board finalizes it. The final budget must be submitted to the state by June 30.

Smith said she fears the legislature won't pass its budget until after June 30.

The board already agreed to not raise property taxes more than 4.295 mills, an amount that officials say would cost $72 for the average homeowner if the average house is assessed at $16,700. Assessed value is different than appraised value.

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