News Column

Waynesboro school board approves budget with no tax increase

June 25, 2014

By Amber South, Public Opinion, Chambersburg, Pa.



June 25--WAYNESBORO -- Waynesboro Area School District Board of Directors on Tuesday unanimously approved a $50,451,603 budget for 2014-15.

Board member Billie Finn was absent.

Property owners do not face a property tax increase, which was decided in a separate unanimous vote. The budget does not have a deficit either.

That will stay true even if the state legislature does not incorporate the governor's proposed Ready to Learn grant into the state budget. WASD could get $611,406. Business Manager Thomas Dick explained that he wrote it into the budget so that it will be extra money if the grant does come through.

"It will not have a great impact on (our budget), as we have offset that particular cost," Dick said.

The deadline for the state budget is June 30, but school officials throughout the county have expressed doubt that it will be met. School districts will not know exactly what money they have to work with until the state budget is passed.

WASD also had to budget money to contend with the increase to a 21.4 percent contribution rate for the Public School Employees Retirement System, which is something affecting all school districts in the state. That means a 28 percent increase in costs for WASD, which Dick said is lower than it could have been since the district planned ahead. Dick said part of that involved replacing retiring employees with staff members who are lower on the salary scale.

The budget also includes a 2 percent pay increase in 2014-15 for support staff who are rated satisfactory and additional Title I funding, enabling the to add a reading specialist.

Board president Chris Lind noted that because WASD is the school district of record for Vision Quest, an intervention program for at-risk youth, money for the organization appears in the district's budget; however, the district merely acts as a funnel through which the money passes through.

In response to a request by Lind, Dick said he will post the final budget on the district's website.

Also on Tuesday, the school board accepted the retirements of two long-time high-school social studies teachers: Kenneth Brown, who served 34 years and Darwin G. Seiler, who served 29 years. Board members shared that both men made a grand impact on WASD and will be missed.

Amber South can be reached at 262-4771.

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(c)2014 the Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.)

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Source: Public Opinion (Chambersburg, PA)


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