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Chambersburg school board slices budget again

August 24, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Prompted by dwindling revenue and the state's indecision about education funding, Chambersburg Area School District officials are making further cuts to save money in the 2009-10 school year, the district announced Monday.

The school board is scheduled to make decisions Wednesday about the latest cost-saving measures proposed by administrators. Included are eliminating after-school basketball intramurals, eliminating the interscholastic diving program, combining sixth- and seventh-grade orchestras, and requiring students to pay $50 for behind-the-wheel driver's education.

Other existing policies, such as one limiting elementary schools to one field trip per grade, are being adapted to spend even less.

"All teachers and administrators have been told since last year that field trips would be limited," district spokeswoman Sylvia Rockwood said, saying that decision also means more classroom time for students.

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The administration has recommended eliminating stipends for some club advisers at Faust Junior High School and Chambersburg Area Senior High School. Affected would be clubs with little participation, such as skateboarding, Science Olympiad, forensics, French and health careers. A press release stated eliminating those stipends could save $30,000.

The district already has cut the French program and positions including two reading specialists, six secondary teachers, a technology integrator, four support personnel and two central office administrators. Officials looked at retirements and resignations as ways to make the cuts.

Textbook purchases have been delayed and transportation changes are being made for extracurricular activities, Rockwood said.

On Wednesday, Chambersburg Area Senior High School's Field House will host 1,500 teachers from across Franklin County for an in-service program featuring guest speaker Ron Clark, who was named the Disney Teacher of the Year in 2001.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was invited, but his attendance has not been confirmed, Rockwood said.

All districts will share in the cost of the program, which is $15 per teacher, a press release stated.

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