Peters Township school board eliminates speech as a graduation requirement

Published Feb 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm (Updated Feb 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm)

When adopting a new policy covering graduation requirements during a meeting Feb. 18, the Peters Township School Board eliminated the need for a speech class. The vote to adopt or reject the policy was confusing at times, even to those who sit on the board.

Newly-elected member Lisa Anderson did not agree with the way the new policy was written and read from Robert’s Rules of Order that permits a section of a proposed policy to be separated through a motion. Anderson did not want to see the speech requirement dropped.

She proposed several motions that became confusing not only to the other members, but also to board solicitor Jack Cambest. After several minutes of discussion and attempts at clarification, the board voted to eliminate the requirement by a vote of 6-3. Voting for the elimination were members Ron Dunleavy, Sue Smith, Rebecca Bowman, who voted by conference call, Lynn Erenberg, Sandy Gregg and Tom McMurray. Voting to retain the speech requirement were Anderson, William Merrell and Jamison Hardy.

In other action, the board:

• Learned of possibly monitoring the air quality in district buildings before any drilling for natural gas may occur. Board member Smith said she heard of a program through Carnegie Mellon University that will supply monitors. No drilling is currently planned in the township. Hardy said he would like more information on the monitoring to learn if the data collected would be part of a research study.

• Voted to extend the deadline for Act 93 – non-union – employees to give notice of intent to retire until May 1. The previous deadline was April 1.

• Voted to extend the PSSA tutoring at McMurray Elementary School for two weeks because of winter weather. The extension will cost the district about $1,360.

• Authorized the district to advertise for two new buses at an average cost of about $85,000 each. Each bus lasts about 10 years and the district rotates new buses every two years.

• Approved the 2014-15 general operational budget for Intermediate Unit 1 for $549,522. The district’s contribution will be $64,987, a decrease of $8, 044.

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