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Palmerton District continues to construct 2010-11 spending plan

Published March 10. 2010 05:00PM

Palmerton Area School District continues in vain to construct next year's spending plan.

The school board's Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday held the second in a series of four meetings to cull together the 2010-11 budget.

This time, committee members met with the junior high and high school principals, as well as the athletic director and superintendent.

Junior high Prinicpal Thad Kosciolek submitted a spending plan of $59,341. That figure is up from the 2009-10 rate of $48,818.

The difference is reflected in the $10,800 cost for the Community Music School. However, that figure does not reflect an increase in the school's budget, but, rather, a transfer from one budgetary line item to another.

Kosciolek said it was imperative for the district to replace chairs in the music room that have been in place since the building opened over 20 years ago.

Superintendent Carol Boyce then informed Kosciolek that he could knock off about $5,200 from his budget because money is available for the furniture in the $1 million grant.

Committee member Carl Bieling told Kosciolek he was pleased with his budget.

"It's pretty much in line with where it was last year."

High school Principal Kathy Egan submitted a budget of $356,495.That figure is up from the 2009-10 rate of $287,578 because the 2010-11 figure also includes the athletic director's budget

Egan said the high school needs more TI89 graphing calculators for math class at a cost of $3,262.

"We're sharing, and we want to have a set for each math class so that they don't have to share," Egan said. "If we don't, I really think we're doing an injustice to the students."

Bieling told Egan he believes purchasing the calculators would be "doing an injustice to the taxpayers."

Another increase is kiln for the art department, where Egan suggested the district look to purchase a new one in the amount of $7,495.

The kiln is original to the building, which means it's about 50 years old, Egan said.

However, Bieling said he believes the district could fix the problem, rather than spend that amount of money.

Also, Boyce told Egan she could knock off about $5,200 from her budget to replace chairs in the music room. Boyce said money is available for the furniture in the $1 million grant.

In addition, Boyce said $6,900 is available for risers throughout the district. She said risers will be placed throughout Towmamensing Elementary, S.S. Palmer Elementary, and the junior high/senior high campuses.

The superintendent's budget submitted by Boyce came in at $26,500, up slightly from the $25,000 figure in 2009-10.

But, Boyce said that figure could be increased slightly due to the anticipated purchase of a communication system at a cost of about $5,000.

She said the system would notify families and teachers of school activities, changes in schedules, and so forth.

The next Budget and Finance Committee meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday. Another meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. March 19.

The committee plans to review the Special Education, Technology and CNI budgets on Thursday, and the maintenance budget on March 19.

Last year, the district adopted a budget for the 2009-10 school year that called for a 2.44 percent, or 1 mill, increase.

The $25,488,593 spending plan raised the millage rate from 41 to 42 mills. That meant a person who owned a $100,000 home, which was assessed at $50,000, paid $2,100, or $50 more, to the district in property taxes.

Prior to that, the last time the district raised property taxes was in the 2007-08 school year, when it passed a budget with a 2.5 percent increase.

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