Peters Township School Board passes budget with 5.142-mill increase

Published Jul 1, 2014 at 8:54 am (Updated Jul 1, 2014 at 8:54 am)

A majority of the overflow audience – many wearing matching red T-shirts – at the June 30 meeting of the Peters Township School Board were not there to comment on the nearly $57 million 2014-15 budget or the resulting 5.142-mill school tax increase, but rather attended to encourage the board to approve an away marching band camp that will cost taxpayers $2,514. Approval of the band camp, along with several other students trips, passed unanimously with board member Lynn Erenberg absent.

No one in the audience or on the board commented on the budget or the tax increase. However, several in the audience made impassioned pleas for the band camp approval.

The camp will run Aug. 3-8 at California University of Pennsylvania.

The marching band was also the focus of approval of a bid from Stanbury Uniforms for new uniforms that will cost $68,375. Additionally, a new high school marching band director, Jeremy Olisar, was approved, along with Leslie Chabala as high school marching band assistant to the director. Olisar, who replaces Milt Barney, will not begin his duties until his clearances are on file.

As for the budget, taxpayers will see their school taxes jump to 107.142 mills, and include a technology budget of $1,019,384, with the amount being included in the general fund budget of $56,540,958. The curriculum budget is set at $431,540, and the capital projects budget is $6,484,700, both of which are included in the general budget.

In other action, the board:

• Approved the hiring of Adam Sikorski as the new Middle School principal at an annual salary of $101,000. No start date was announced. Sikorski will replace Robert Freado, who retired effective June 30.

• Approved Adam Brado as a high school social studies teacher; Angela Berger as a high school mathematics teacher; Lauren Johnson as a special education teacher, learning support teacher at McMurray Elementary School; and Andrea Charbonnel as a middle school science teacher.

• Had a lengthy discussion on proposed policy changes and approved three changes, including one that will result in both video and audio recordings on all school buses beginning in the fall.

• Listened as one parent, Kathy LaBellarte, 113 Singletree Drive, Venetia, spoke of her desire for more parental notification as to what literature the district encourages students to read.

• Approved numerous textbooks at all grade levels, including expenditures of $207,378 to incorporate enVision Math in kindergarten through grade six at Bower Hill, Pleasant Valley and McMurray Elementary schools.

• Accepted a donation from the Peters Township High School PTSA for $7,829 to purchase three document cameras for the science department, 30 calculators and 10 Chromebooks to establish a new lab at the high school.

• Approved renewal of the property/liability insurance police with PSBA Insurance Trust for $48,969; and approved renewal of worker compensation insurance policy with Highmark for $252,946.

• Approved a 10 cent increase in lunch prices for the 2014-15 school year.

• Authorized PNC Capital Markets, Clark Hill Thorp Reed and township solicitors Weiss Burkardt Kramer to enable the district to borrow up to $10 million.

• Unless the board calls a special meeting, there will be no meeting in July. The next scheduled meeting in at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18.

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