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PANTHER VALLEY CLIU issue resolved as district accepts funds

Published July 24. 2010 09:00AM

The Panther Valley School District finally has some resolution on an issue that has been bothering several school board members for several months.

Superintendent Rosemary Porembo said that she, as well as business manager Kenneth Marx, Jr, and the district's special education director Rick Caffrey, finally met with members of the CLIU No.21 administrative team to discuss the reimbursement that the CLIU receives for transportation costs on July 20th.

Questions surrounding the reimbursement figures emerged after the CLIU administrative team, including new executive director Dr. Elaine Eib, business manager Ivy Harding, and director of transportation, Randy Williams, presented an overview of the CLIU's billing and reimbursement figures earlier this year. During that presentation, it was explained that the CLIU receives reimbursement from both the State and federal funds, through Leader Services. Several of the Panther Valley board members questioned if this was double dipping, and why those funds were not coming back to the school districts, who also paid for those services.

Porembo said that the CLIU realized a sum of $220,049 for the 2009-2010 school year for all of the contributing school districts. Panther Valley's share of that is $13,380.14. During the CLIU's presentation, it was stated that the CLIU holds that money to pay for programs or equipment required by the individual school district's students. According to Porembo, Panther Valley had one student who is participating in an ESY (extended school year program) at a rate of $1,719.98.

"We were awarded the balance of $11,660.16," she said.

Porembo explained that going forward, the CLIU is still working out how to handle the transportation money. She outlined three options, including returning the money to the school districts and then billing them for services on an individual basis; continuing the present practice to collect the funds and pay for additional services; or a hybrid model, where the districts could choose how to have their money handled.

Later in the meeting, the board authorized the acceptance of the check for $11,660.16 and voted to accept the disbursement on an annual basis. Several of the directors were pleased with how the matter was resolved and were also happy to hear about several additional cost saving measures that the CLIU is implementing. Board president Jeff Markovich said that after reviewing the CLIU minutes, he was happy to see that they have reduced their budget, including transportation figures. "She (Dr. Eib) is looking to have a new approach on how they do their budgets," he added.

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