The Jim Thorpe School Board continued working on the budget cuts for 2011-2012 at Tuesday night's meeting. The school board talked pay freezes, cutbacks, and eliminating all funding for bus monitors.
The board voted to reduce by one hour (seven hours to six hours) each day for all Instructional Assistants. The board mentioned that the cutback in hours for the Instructional Assistants was being done so they wouldn't lose their jobs completely.
"They (Instructional Assistants) weren't in complete agreement but this was the most popular option," stated Superintendent Barbara Conway.
Along with faculty cutbacks within the district, Conway announced that she and the Business Manager, Lauren Kovac have accepted to take a pay freeze for 2011-2012 in attempts to aid the budget.
In further attempts to create a manageable budget, the district took a vote to eliminate all funding of bus monitors. The vote did not pass and the board wishes to discuss it further.
The school district contracts two bus companies, Getz and Kuhn. Getz and Kuhn employ the bus monitors and for the 2010-2011 school year the school district allotted $50,000 each to help fund the bus monitors.
The school bored was looking into cutting that total of $100,000 from next year's budget. Some of the board members did not want to completely eliminate that funding.
"Maybe $100,000 was not the right number. Maybe it's a different number. We need to talk about that," said Board member, Randall Smith.
Board member, Ellen Katner stated, "I don't like cutting all the monitors. I feel some buses need monitors. We have to look to eliminate certain places."
The board agreed to table this matter until it is discussed further at the next Finance and Insurance Committee meeting May 2nd. The committee members will discuss the cost of bus monitors, what buses really need monitors, and possible alternative funds. The fnance and Insurance meeting will be open to the public.
"We'll try to see what buses need monitors and what buses don't. That $100,000 figure doesn't have to be that amount," said Board member, Richard Karper.
Conway discussed that the board is working to create a budget that works in these economic times
"We are doing some hard looking at our professional staff," she said.