School Board

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“Nothing is finalized yet, but if we get it finalized over the next week or so, it will lead to no program cuts and no professional staff loss,” Dean added. “Everything is looking really good. We’re hoping to get a balanced budget.”

Board member William Jones pointed out that some staff cuts will technically occur, as the staff positions of those who’ve retired this year will not be filled next year, thus putting additional funds back into the budget that weren’t there last year.

Over a hundred members of the public, many concerned with budget cuts and wearing red for solidarity, attended the board’s June 23 meeting. After Dean’s announcement that a balanced budget could be realized without program and staff cuts, however, the audience remained silent.

Only high school teacher Charles Herring made public comment, referring to the May meeting where the public was told that, as stakeholders in the district, each needed to make sacrifices to maintain a balanced budget. The board should know, he said, that, for two years, teachers did not get a pay raise, which shows their commitment to the cause.

In other business, the board hired Joseph Rasmus as Assistant Superintendent, at a salary of $103,000 a year, with a 20-percent health care premium, effective July 1 and pending final contract negotiation and approval by the district solicitor.

The board elected Director Al Miller as board treasurer for a one-year term, at no salary with a set bond in the amount of $25,000. It also approved contracted professional services with the Luzerne Intermediate Unit #18 next year, at a cost of $618,364, with that cost subject to vary based on the number of students assigned to LIU services.

The renewal of the district’s food service contract with Metz Culinary Group was approved with an increase of 30 cents for school lunch meals and an increase of 65 cents for adult meals.

Baker Tilly was approved to audit the financial statements for Crestwood for the next school year, at a fee of $27,000, plus out-of-pocket costs and administrative expenses. Tilly will also audit the financial statements of the tax collectors for the district, at a fee of $12,600.

A. G. Administrators will be paid $28,800 for the interscholastic sports annual insurance premium. Voluntary student accident insurance will also be offered by A. G. Administrators, at a rate to parents of $124 a year for the 24-hour rate or $28 a year for the school-time rate.

The board approved the use of the high school parking lot for housing overflow parking from the St. Jude’s picnic, from Aug. 12 to 14, with security and insurance provided by St. Jude’s Parish.

Degler-Whiting was approved to perform bleacher modifications in the high school gymnasium, at a cost of $53,000, and to the outdoor grandstand, at a cost of $203,000. These payments will be made through the PLGIT Capital Projects Fund.