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Work on budget continues

Published March 12. 2010 05:00PM

Palmerton Area School District continues to make headway on next year's spending plan.

The school board's Budget and Finance Committee on Thursday held the third in a series of four meetings in an effort to piece together the 2010-11 budget.

Committee members met with the Curriculum and Instruction, Technology, and Special Education departments.

Sherrie Fenner, director of curriculum and instruction, presented a budget of $134,500, $25,000 less than the $159,500 figure in 2009-10.

Fenner said the district will realize a $25,000 savings in the price for textbooks, due to the $1 million grant the district procured from the state with the help of Speaker of the House Keith McCall.

The grant paid $45,000 of the $170,000 of the textbook budget in 09-10, she said.

Bob Dailey, director of special education, showed a spending plan of $60,390, an amount that mirrors that of 09-10.

However, Dailey recommended that the district should add a full-time special education teacher at Towamensing Elementary next year.

Dailey said the position is already accounted for in the budget. He said he will attend the school board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday to explain the need for the position.

Dan Heaney, director of technology, submitted a spending plan of $183,318, $24,251 less than the $207,569 rate in 09-10.

The next and final Budget and Finance Committee meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. March 19. At that time, the committee plans to meet with the maintenance department.

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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