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Waynesboro school board to lay off two support staff members

Caps and gowns, school supplies and field trips won't be considered in cuts

May 04, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board made some decisions Tuesday about its 2010-11 budget, saying it won't eliminate field trips, require families to purchase school supplies, or stop buying caps and gowns for graduating seniors.

It does plan to lay off two support staff members and make a transfer involving a third person.

Jessica Bryan, president of the Waynesboro Area Education Association, said support staff members help with the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests. She predicted scores will go down.

"We can't do it without the support staff. (Lowered scores are) not going to be on us," said Bryan, a middle school teacher.

"It's going to be on everyone who works in this district," board member Leland Lemley retorted.

The two argued for a few minutes, with Lemley finishing his remarks by saying no one outside of the board has made suggestions for cost savings.

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"Give us a cut that is more appropriate," he said.

Board member Pat Heefner said that as a former support staff employee, she appreciates Bryan's endorsement of those people. She said the district gets its greatest "bang for our buck" from the hardworking support staff.

Heefner called personnel "the third rail we're trying so hard not to touch" as the board works to reduce a budget deficit that started at an estimated $1.7 million.

In addition to support staff reductions, unanimously approved budget cuts and the resulting estimated savings are:

o Athletic realignment and reduction in clinics, not to include the elimination of middle school cheerleading ($32,000)

o Decrease in Saturday School expense ($6,900)

o Decrease in number of LCD screens ($2,400)

o Decrease in engineering expense ($5,000)

o Reduction in library books and periodicals ($14,600)

o Reduction in DVDs ($2,562)

o Eliminate PSSA bus run ($6,000)

o Delay purchase of French horn ($2,000)

o Eliminate high school student agendas ($5,300)

o Decrease clerical substitutes ($4,500)

o Decrease teacher aide substitutes ($5,000)

o Changes to child accounting clerk position ($6,000)

The board members in attendance -- Heefner, Lemley, K. Marilyn Smith, Bonnie Bachtell, Ed Wilson and Billie Finn -- selected three things they would not consider eliminating in the budget. Those were the caps and gowns, school supplies and field trips.

Undecided are matters concerning professional staff, elementary Spanish, entrance fees for athletic events, pay-to-play fees for athletes, the fund balance and on-the-road driver's education.

The final budget, which is expected to contain more than $50 million in expenditures, must be passed by June 30.

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