New Castle News

New Castle

July 2, 2014

New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

NEW CASTLE — The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week.

The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

But officials said the state waited until the last minute to inform them the district will get $451,152 less than the preliminary budget estimate.

Although the state budget remained in limbo Tuesday, superintendent John Sarandrea said the district was legally obligated to pass a budget by that date.

He said the budget can be re-opened at the next meeting, scheduled for Monday, if necessary. “Once we find out what we’re getting or not getting, we can make firm decisions.”

Joe Ambrosini, district business manager, said the preliminary budget listed New Castle as receiving $727,490 in basic education funds. This week the district received word it would get $276,338.

Sarandrea said he is looking at ways to make up for the loss. He said these could include not replacing some retirees, deferring major spending for technology and some other actions.

The district also will start advertising Wednesday for sale of closed school buildings, he said, and by later this month, officials will have a better idea “of where we are at.”

He added the district would be looking at a $2 million deficit if it had not closed schools and consolidated buildings. In addition, the staff has been reduced by 25 employees.

The superintendent said the late word has left the district few options.

“Districts are really stuck right now,” Ambrosini said, adding, “So many decisions are based on a preliminary budget.”

Sarandrea said he is not agreeable to dipping in the fund balance to make up the shortfall because it is getting “dangerously low.” That balance was expected to be $14,458,264 as this school year ended.

One area of concern, he said, is “we can’t let our scores go any lower,” because this will drive more students to private schools, taking even more money out of the district’s budget.

Ambrosini said after the meeting that even with the reduced basic education figures, the district will receive more overall state funding than it did for the 2014-15 school year. He said the district receives approximately $31 million annually in state funds and $10 million in local tax funds.

The vote on the budget was 7-0, with Barbara Razzano and Mark Kirkwood absent.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
New Castle
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle hires information technology director

    The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school registration scheduled at New Castle

    Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.

    July 15, 2014

  • Police.jpg Couple accused of contacting rape victim

    A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • festival1.jpg Break out the bubbly

    New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum1.jpg State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success

    Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players. 

    July 5, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hooker.tiff Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker

    Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District to sell closed schools, contents

    The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results