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The Union board rescinded its vote on the vocational-technical school’s budget after approving it on a 5-4 vote last month.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.
NEW CASTLE —
Now there are only two.
New Castle Schools: Leave with pay was superintendent’s call
When a New Castle school district employee is placed on administrative leave, it typically is the superintendent’s decision. District solicitor Charles Sapienza said in an email last week that the district has no policy governing when and why an employee is placed on administrative leave or whether he or she should be paid during that leave.
Agreement allows nonresident students at Laurel
Five Laurel teachers who live outside the Laurel School District have enrolled their children in the district. They are taking advantage of a memorandum of agreement between the district and the Laurel Education Association that took effect at the beginning of the current school year.
Allegations result in principal on leave
New Castle Junior High School principal Robert Razzano is on administrative leave with pay. Meanwhile, New Castle police said they are investigating a reported incident at the junior high involving an employee.
Shenango board set to fill vacancy
The Shenango Area School Board is expected to appoint Dean Owrey on Monday to fill a vacancy on the board. Owrey, chief financial officer of the University of PittsburghMC’s information services division, was selected from among 16 people who expressed interest in the position.
Hearing set on school building’s future
A hearing Wednesday will determine the future of an abandoned school building. The Pulaski Township supervisors will meet at 7 p.m. at the municipal building to determine whether the former New Bedford school on Schoolhouse Road violates the township dangerous buildings ordinance.
School money split under scrutiny
Pennsylvania spreads $10 billion in education dollars using a ragged method that is prone to political influence, according to legislators and groups who are calling for reform.
In The Schools: New Castle staffers heading to San Diego
New Castle school district personnel are heading to California to continue improving their approach in teaching students to read. The school board Monday gave permission to George Washington Intermediate School principal Joseph Anderson, elementary principal Debra DeBlasio and district facilitators Shelly Bucci and Andrea Martin to attend the Success For All reading conference Feb. 5 to 9 in San Diego.
Arts academy to appeal after board says no to charter school
The New Castle Arts Academy Charter School plans to contest the New Castle school board’s denial of its charter. The board voted 9-0 Monday to reject the academy’s application to open an arts-infused charter school in the former Days Inn. The action came after a public hearing and public board discussion about the application.
Emergency substitute teacher course offered
Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV is offering a training program to qualify college graduates as emergency substitute teachers.
Photo Gallery, Story: Kindergartners have first day at new Lockley
Young eyes were wide with wonder. Four- and 5-year-olds bundled in winter coats, hats, scarves and mittens got off school buses Wednesday morning and walked single file into a brand new school.
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