Update: Moon School Board Approves Furloughs, Final Budget
The board approved its 2012-2013 budget and a series of staffing changes.
The Moon Area School Board in an 8-to-1 vote approved the district's 2012 final budget totaling $63,356,449.
The budget includes no property tax hike. Board member Samuel Tranter cast the dissenting vote.
Millage rates in the district will remain at 21.30 mills. The board opted not to levy a .42 mill tax increase under the state's Taxpayer Relief Act.
The budget marks an 8.2 percent spending increase from the previous year's plan, which totaled $57.6 million.
The spending increase is attributed to non-recurring transfers of $2 million to the capital projects fund, according to a district statement. Employee salaries and benefits are again the district's largest expense, totaling $20 million and $11.7 million.
Employee retirement costs increased by 42.9 percent due to increased contributions to the Pennsylvania School Employee Retirement System. The budget includes the addition of a full-day kindergarten program at a cost of $325,000.
The board also approved a series of unspecified personnel revisions that will save the district $425,000, according to a school statement
School district Superintendent Donna Milanovich said under the approved measure, 53 district support staff positions will either be furloughed or have hours reduced.
The district will open up 49 positions for hire in the 2012-2013, which employees will be able to bid on.
Milanovich said she could not specify how many of those positions were part-time or full-time or how many of the 53 positions would be eliminated outright. She said the majority of the 53 jobs will remain but with reduced hours.
Residents who attended the meeting expressed concern that staffing changes could include a reassignment for Allard Elementary principal Caroline Johns.
Residents said stories have circulated that Johns is being reassigned to oversee Allard on only a part-time basis.
"To not have a full-time principal is foolish," said Colleen Murphy, whose children attend Allard. "I'm not comfortable having my children in a school where you don't have that leadership."
The board did not comment on any specific staffing changes, including any at Allard Elementary.
Update: The Moon Area School District said in a statement this afternoon that furloughs will impact 18 special education positions, 6 library assistants, 5 clerical positions, 6 nurse/health assistants and 14 cafeteria workers. Extended-day kindergarten positions will also be eliminated, as the district transitions to a full-day program. Union contracts stipulate positions must be furloughed and then reopened.