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Waynesboro Area School Board votes to furlough teachers instead of raise taxes

June 09, 2011
  • The Waynesboro Area School Board is shown in this February 2011 file photo.
Herald-Mail file photo

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Waynesboro Area School Board voted Thursday night against raising taxes by 2.41 mills in support of its 2011-12 preliminary budget, but approved motions to furlough seven district teachers and reduce the hours of three others to balance the spending plan.

During a special meeting, the board voted 6-3 against the motion to raise taxes, with members Sherry Cline, Chris Lind, Billie Finn, Leland Lemley, Edward Wilson and Firmadge Crutchfield voting no. Bonnie Bachtell, K. Marilyn Smith and Pat Heefner, who made the motion to raise taxes, voted in favor.

Bachtell, Smith and Heefner voted against separate motions for the furloughs and reduced hours.

The board approved a property tax increase of 1.41 mills in May and, at that time, it was enough to zero out the district's budget shortfall that began at $2.6 million several months ago.

One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

After crunching the numbers, Superintendent James Robertson said the district still had a gap of $203,675 to close. Robertson identified several ways to fill the void, including teacher furloughs.

The furlough proposal was met with heavy resistance from both faculty and students at the meeting.

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An additional one-mill tax increase to 2.41 mills would have been enough to fill the gap without teacher furloughs.

The board must pass a final budget by June 30.

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