New Castle News

June 26, 2013

Taxes to stay level in Union

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE —

The Union Area School Board has adopted a $10.4 million budget with no tax increase.

Board members this week approved the $10,388,100 spending plan for the 2013-14 school year.

The vote was 8-0. Greg Cassella was absent.

The budget reflects a $275,000 deficit. That amount was taken from the fund balance which is now at about $2 million.

Taxes remain at 14.42 mills. This is the third year that there have been no increases in the district.

Revenue is expected to be $3.7 million from local sources and $6.4 million from state sources.

According to business manager Samantha Laverty, the money saved from five teachers and a principal retiring at the end of the 2012-13 school year enabled the district to do more with the budget than in previous years.

The district added an elementaryteacher, will pave around both the elementary and middle/high schools, purchased a Pre-K textbook series and math K-4 textbooks and  new pupil manual software and bought a new school van.

“We were able to put the big ticket items back in the budget that had been postponed,” Laverty said.

The board also approved wage freezes for all non-contracted support staff, which includes secretaries, aides, athletic directors and security personnel, and elementary school principal Linda O’Neill and high school principal Michael Ross for the 2013-14 school year as per Act 93 administrator compensation plan.

Superintendent Dr. Alfonso “Butch” Angelucci said the wage freeze is solely due to the school budget and does not reflect job performance. O’Neill’s annual salary is $95,368 and Ross’s starting salary is $75,000.

Also, the board:

•Hired Maria Thomas and Kelcie Beatty as elementary school teachers, Candace Panella as middle school guidance counselor, Elizabeth Burns as certified school nurse, Kelly Kisling as middle school special education learning support teacher, Marissa Federicci as high school special education learning support teacher, Philip George as grades 7-12 special education life skills teacher and George R. Miles as grades 7-12 science teacher. All positions take effect Aug. 21, 2013.

Angelucci said more than 100 people were interviewed for the eight positions.

“We’re excited and enthusiastic about the educators we’re bringing into the district,” he explained.

•Hired high school teacher Joseph Canciello as public relations adviser to be paid at a stipend.

•Agreed to have a school resource officer for the 2013-14 school year. The police officer will be exclusively in the district five days a week and is in addition to school security already in place at each building.

•Hired Brian Fadden as adviser to Peer Leadership and Key Club. Fadden is to be paid at a stipend in accordance with the Union Area Education Association agreement.