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Tyrone Area School Board finalizes the 2007-08 TASD budget

The Tyrone Area School Board approved their 2007-08 budget at their recent June 12 meeting.
This portion of the meeting started by approving the updated financial reports presented by Board Treasurer Rev. Norman Huff. They include Treasurer’s Financial Report, Tax Fund Reports, Monthly Expenditures, Investment Analysis Report, and Student Activities Fund.
Following the approval of the monthly financial reports, the Board approved the 2007-08 General Fund Budget. The budget lists total revenues in the amount of $19,873,393 and total expenditures in the amount of $20,256,196. The difference will be made up with a fund balance the School District has in reserve for situations such as this.
There were some slight changes to the budget that was proposed last month. The part-time position of Elementary and Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher/Band Director was not eliminated as originally proposed. Various School Board Members were against eliminating this position, so this position will remain intact. However, the Board made a decision concerning next year’s TAHS Spring Musical. Unlike other years, when the School District helped finance the Spring Musical Production, School District Officials stated that finances for the Music Department had to be readjusted.
The District also eliminated a few other positions, including a Grade 3 teaching position, two Grade 6 teaching positions, and a high school science teaching position. All teachers that held these positions retired at the conclusion of the 2006-07 school year and will not be replaced.
The elimination of the two Grade 6 positions, vacated due to the retirements of veteran TASD teachers Donald Friday and Anna Myers have caused some concern from many that Grade 6 class sizes will be much too big next year. After the elimination of these positions, the average class size of the four remaining Grade 6 classes will be approximately 29 students in a class. Several parents of students in next year’s Grade 6 classes have contacted School District Officials and a group of them discussed this issue with the Board during the public comment portion of the School Board meeting last week.
Before approving the finalized general fund budget, Board Member Amy Stever questioned Superintendent Dr. William Miller and Assistant Superintendent Joann Lang if School District Administrators were confident that class sizes this large will work out for the students. Miller and Lang both assured Board Members that everything will work out fine for the students and the classroom teacher will have extra help in the classroom, such as the Gifted Support coming into the classroom to work with gifted students.
Also approved is the athletic budget in the amount of $320,905. One of the Board Members asked if there was equity between the budget and if there were cuts in the athletic budget. It was explained that there are certain positions that the boosters will be asked to help fund this year.
The Board also approved the tax levies on real estate. These are adjustments that reflect tax increase and changes in the market value as required by the State Tax Equalization Board. Blair County will see a 3.34 Mill increase ($92.71/$1,000 assessed value), Centre will see a 1.42 Mill increase ($20.22/$1,000 assessed value) and Huntingdon County will see a 4.28 Mill increase ($68.51/$1,000 assessed value).
The Board also explained that the Earned Income Act 511 Tax will not change. It will remain at 0.65 percent.
The Board also approved for the business administrator to make budget transfers due to audit reclassifications after June 30, 2007 for the 2006-07 fiscal year, with subsequent report to the board.
Also included in this budget are some maintenance projects. This includes re-roofing of the High School Gymnasium at the total estimated cost of $152,185 and renovation of the High School Swimming Pool at the total estimated cost of $212,395.