South Fayette reviews budget needs

Published Jan 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm (Updated Jan 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm)

Building principals in the South Fayette district presented their budgets to the board of school directors at a Jan. 22 meeting. The principals’ budget requests are up from last year. No decisions have been made by the board as to what may or may not be included in the district’s budget. According to district director of finance Brian Tony, the district must approve a preliminary budget by Feb. 19. A proposed preliminary budget will be on display by Jan. 30 (the board does not have to vote on the proposed preliminary budget).

During high school Principal Scott Milburn’s presentation, he told the board to keep the number 795 in each of their minds, because that is the projected number of students in the high school for the 2013-14 school year. Milburn said the high school was built to accommodate 800 students. Currently, the school has about 720 students.

“I don’t think we thought 800 for next year,” Milburn told the board. His budget includes furniture, lockers, instruments for the music department, additional books, calculators and a microscope. Milburn had $20,000 for 70 new lockers in his budget for the growing student population as well as funds for new tables and chairs.

Milburn told the board he would try to get as much as he can out of the current year’s budget for things that will be needed for next year.

Middle school Principal Dave Deramo said new mathematics textbooks will be needed next year at a cost of $20,000 per grade level, or $60,000 total. He added that his supply budget decreased by $10,000 due to the fifth grade moving into the new intermediate building next year. Deramo is also requesting new social studies textbooks.

Deramo also addressed what he said was “overcrowding at the food court” during lunchtime. He said lunches are done by grade level and although right now there is enough seating at 220 seats, in a couple of years the current third-grade class will be there and that class has about 250 students.

Currently the largest class in the middle school is about 216, Deramo said. “It’s essentially filled to capacity,” he said. “It’s a grade level issue, not a total enrollment issue.” He is requesting $24,000 for additional seating.

Intermediate school Principal Greg Wensell is requesting library books for the new building as well as fine arts supplies, band instruments, physical education supplies and one-time cost supplies for the nurse’s office.

Primary school Principal Laurie Gray is requesting an additional second-grade teacher. She is also requesting that the current sensory room be moved to a classroom. She said the sensory room, which is used for students with special needs like autism, is very small. She said they can go in the room for about 15 minutes and touch things and bounce on things to fulfill any sensory need they may have. “The goal is to create the room in a classroom,” Gray said.

Pupil Personnel Director Dr. Nanci Sullivan also presented her department’s requested budget. She said 85 percent of her budget is mandated. Sullivan said her department serves about 2,178 students. She is requesting an additional $33,000 over last year’s budget.

The board will continue discussing the district’s 2013-14 budget at upcoming meetings.

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