New Castle News


May 23, 2013

Vo-tech budget loses support

NEW CASTLE — Now there are only two.

That is the number of school districts that have approved the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center budget for the 2013-14 year after Union board’s withdrew support this week.

The Union board rescinded its vote on the vocational-technical school’s budget after approving it on a 5-4 vote last month.

This week, board members voted 8-0 against the $6,842,838 spending plan. Carmen Merolillo abstained, saying he preferred to wait for more information.

Neshannock and Laurel are the only districts that have approved it.

Shenango also has rejected the budget. New Castle, Wilmington, Mohawk and Ellwood City have delayed voting until next month.

John Bertolino, Union’s president who voted against the budget both times, said that after other board members saw recent publicity about the spending plan, they started asking more questions.

“We had discussions and reconsidered,” Bertolino said, largely because of financial problems associated with the practical nursing program.

“That means a lot to some members — plus our cost per pupil. Some board members think that is still too high. There are a lot of question marks right now.”

The vocational technical school owes a total of $450,573 to six of the county’s eight school districts as repayments of the difference between projected enrollment paid at the beginning of the year and the actual end-of-year enrollment figures.

That total owed is only for the year 2010-11, according to information the center’s director, Andrew Tomelleo, distributed to joint operating commitee members last month.

Tommelleo made a proposal to the districts last month that includes new revenue generating projects for the practical nursing program. He anticipates the plan will generate an additional $140,000 each year, and that the districts can be paid back in four years.

The center has been using the districts’ money to offset deficits created by the nursing program.

The amount owed to the districts from 2011-12, if any, have not been calculated yet because the audit for that year has not yet been concluded, Chastity Williams, the center’s business manager, explained Monday.

The vo-tech budget must be approved by six of the eight districts in the county and a majority of the school board members by June 28 in order for the center to stay open for its summer school program.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

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