Waynesboro school board reinstates secretarial hours, fills teaching vacancy

June 14, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Less than a week after approving furloughs and reduced hours, the Waynesboro Area School Board reinstated secretarial hours and decided to fill a vacancy created by a retirement.

Board members said they recently were notified of the pending retirement of Patrick McDonald, a seventh-grade English teacher. They said they will fill the position with someone who had been designated for furloughing.

“We have an opportunity to bring someone in who has the credentials,” board member Chris Lind said.

Business Administrator Caroline Dean said “newly discovered attritional savings” from McDonald’s retirement also allow for secretaries’ hours to be restored for about $20,000.

For months, the school board has been paring down a $2.6 million deficit in its approximately $50 million budget for 2011-12. The final budget must be passed and submitted to the state by June 30.

An unknown for Pennsylvania’s 500 public-school districts is how much they will receive in basic education funding for the coming year. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has not passed its own budget, and some proposals would roll back K-12 funding to 2008-09 levels, before federal stimulus dollars infused coffers.

“We received a call from the senator’s office today that things are looking positive for school funding from the state,” Superintendent James Robertson said.

“Are you developing a priority list for the things we’d build back?” board member Billie Finn asked, to which Robertson answered “yes.”

Last week, the board made cuts to high school physical education, business, social studies and foreign language classes. It already had cut a gifted teacher, a reading coordinator, an instructional adviser, the co-op program, the health care technology program, one family and consumer sciences teacher, one art position and one high school clerical position.

McDonald will continue to operate the GED program in Waynesboro, Assistant Superintendent Evan Williams said.

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