Early Allentown School Budget Focuses On Hefty Layoffs, Tax Hike

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If there was any doubt that the Allentown School District will impose layoffs as itgrapples with a $10.6 million shortfall next year, those doubts were all but erased tonight.

The school board considered a preliminary budget that could be described — officials hope — as a worst-case scenario: a $6.1 million cut to salaries, and a 9 percent property tax increase.

Those will almost certainly change by the time the final budget is passed in June. A preliminary budget is required this month by state law, and it must be balanced, so the district includes cuts to satisfy that deadline and then changes them later.

But if the $6.1 million salaries cut stays in place, with a district average salary of $65,000, it could mean at least 94 jobs getting eliminated, school union President Debra Tretter said.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2014/01/early_allentown_school_budget.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Enhanced by Zemanta

Daniel Boone SD Looks At Drastic Measures – Again

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There were no shocked gasps or yelling this time when Dr. Gary L. Otto, Daniel Boone School District superintendent, went through the proposed cuts to balance the 2014-15 budget.

In fact, when it came time for public comment during Wednesday’s school board finance committee meeting, only three residents from the crowd of 50 asked questions, none of which was specifically about the list of cuts.

That’s because the big reveal was nothing new.

The list of potential cuts is almost a carbon copy of what the board discussed during the budget process last year.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519157

Clarion To Suspend Programs, Cut Jobs To Close $8 Million Deficit

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clarion University of Pennsylvania on Monday announced it will suspend two degree programs, eliminate 42.75 positions and launch several new programs in an effort to plug an $8 million budget deficit that could balloon to $12 million by 2015.

University President Karen Whitney said the moves are designed to position the state-owned university for the future following several years of sharp declines in enrollment and state subsidies.

“At the forefront of this plan is for our students to graduate and succeed in their professional careers, thanks to the marketable skills they learn at Clarion,” Whitney said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4960880-74/education-clarion-programs#ixzz2j2581ntI
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Drop In Enrollment At Kutztown University Twice That Of State System

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Almost 300 fewer students enrolled in Kutztown University in September compared to the previous year.

Since a 2010 peak, Kutztown’s enrollment has dropped 12 percent. The enrollment decline at Kutztown is twice the average drop – 6 percent – seen by the 13 other schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

All 14 state universities have been hard hit by funding cuts that usually mean more layoffs and program cuts.

Despite the drop in enrollment at Kutztown, there are no program cuts or layoffs contemplated for the coming school year, university spokesman Matt Santos said Monday.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=515881

Daniel Boone Schools Eye Potential $3.6M Budget Shortfall

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BIRDSBORO, PA — Kindergarten, sports and other large expenditure items will likely be recommended once again for cuts in the Daniel Boone Area School District, the school board president warns.

Board President Andrew Basile, who also serves as chairman of the board’s finance committee, said reduction or elimination of those programs would be one option for the board to reduce an anticipated $3.6 million budget deficit for the 2014-15 school year.

The district avoided steep cuts in programs and activities this year by dipping into its budget reserves.

Dennis Younkin, the district’s interim business manager, provided the finance committee with an updated Act 1 Timeline for 2014-15, a five-year budget analysis, and a 2014-15 proposed budget.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20130926/daniel-boone-schools-eye-potential-36m-budget-shortfall

Mansfield University Announces Layoffs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Tioga County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Tioga County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mansfield University plans to cut up to 29 full-time faculty positions and 25 administrative jobs due to a projected $14.3 million shortfall over the next two years, the school said Thursday. It blamed enrollment declines over the past three years and reduced state support.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=514674

East Strousdburg University Considers Cuts In Staff, Programs

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Facing a potential $7.6 million operating deficit, East Stroudsburg University officials say faculty and program cuts could be looming.

They will have a better idea once the university’s 2013-14 budget is finalized, said Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which oversees the 14-state-owned universities, including ESU.

Student tuition and fees account for about three-quarters of ESU’s revenue, but calculating true enrollment figures isn’t straightforward, Marshall said.

During the first few weeks of classes, students can drop out or enroll late.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/esu-considers-cuts-in-staff-programs-0915-20130915,0,5311635.story#ixzz2f0sxuRWX
Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

Edinboro University Deficit May Force Additional Cuts

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edinboro University may face additional non-faculty staff and manager cuts this year beyond the 13 already announced to ease a budget deficit shaping up to be greater than the $5.5 million gap previously disclosed, a school spokesman said Friday.

Jeffrey Hileman could not say how much larger the deficit might be, but when asked the difference between the numbers, he said, “It’s not unsubstantial.”

He spoke after Edinboro administrators and faculty union representatives met for 2 1/2 hours to discuss the Operations and Workforce Plan unveiled Tuesday by Edinboro president Julie Wollman, which also recommended eliminating 42 faculty positions.

The plan, like one released at Clarion University a month ago, addresses rising costs, declining enrollment and sharply lower state aid.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/edinboro-deficit-may-force-additional-cuts-703272/#ixzz2ergwa2ze

Edinboro University Wants To Cut 42 Faculty, 5 Majors

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Erie County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EDINBORO, PAEdinboro University wants to cut more than 50 staff, including 42 professors, and eventually eliminate five majors due to declining enrollment and a resulting projected budget deficit.

The announcement comes a month after Clarion University announced plans to cut up to 40 jobs, including 22 faculty, and suspending music education, German and French courses.  The schools are two of 14 that comprise the State System of Higher Education. Kutztown University is one of the 14.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=510618

Clarion University To Dissolve College Of Education

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Clarion County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clarion University plans to let go up to 40 employees campuswide — including 22 faculty — and dissolve its college of education under a broad restructuring intended to offset sharply lower state aid, rising costs and enrollment losses.

The job cuts are part of a two-year workforce plan that university president Karen Whitney and other administrators say was drafted to help Clarion correct budget problems and position the state-owned university with 6,500 students for the future.

The plan discusses areas where Clarion intends to add resources, among them nursing, and other areas recommended for elimination, including music education. It says departments and programs within Clarion’s College of Education and Human Services would be reorganized into other schools.

The idea is to ensure that Clarion by July 1, 2015, can meet future challenges and “continue serving students, employers and community partners as a public university,” the 32-page document states.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/clarion-u-to-dissolve-college-of-education-699536/#ixzz2c9UiRE6d

Reading School District’s Bond Rating Dropped

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Reading School District has faced some major financial challenges lately, and it’s not going unnoticed.

Citing budget struggles and a $15 million accounting mistake discovered last year, Moody’s Investors Service, a major credit-rating firm, has lowered two district bond ratings by two levels.

Moody’s announced last week the district’s underlying general obligation rating was lowered to Baa2 from A3, and its enhanced rating was lowered to A3 from A1.

The outlook for both ratings, a release from Moody’s says, is negative.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502171

Americans On Food Stamps

English: Logo of the .

English: Logo of the . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of people using food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by an average of 13 percent a year from 2008 to 2012.  House Republicans dropped funding for food stamps from a new version of the farm bill.  Voting takes place Thursday.  Read related article.

Click here to see map of US with 2012 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation levels by state: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/food-stamps/

Montgomery County Budget Cuts Take A Toll On Community Organizations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — It’s halfway into the year, and some local organizations that received county funds in the past are beginning to feel the effects of the 2013 budget cuts.

County budget cuts are robbing the Montgomery County African American Coalition of its “meat and potatoes” programs, according to charter member Bob Wright.

Three weeks ago, the group met at the First Baptist Church in Cheltenham, where a consortium of representatives from different minority organizations throughout the county, including the local chapter of the NAACP, discussed the budget and how it affects the low- and moderate-income county population.

Among them, Legal Aid, which received $281,7000 from the county general fund in 2012, was initially zeroed out of the budget for fiscal year 2013.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/article/20130707/NEWS01/130709776/montgomery-county-budget-cuts-take-a-toll-on-community-organizations#full_story

Corbett Offers $140 Million For Philly Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of that story includes the rescue package Corbett outlined Sunday for Philadelphia’s financially beleaguered school district, though parts of that too, still await legislative approval.

The governor told The Inquirer he backed a plan that would help raise $140 million for the School District in the next fiscal year to help prevent the doomsday scenario district officials have said would unfold without financial assistance.  The district faces a $304 million deficit and has sent layoff notices to 3,859 teachers and staff.

But the governor was banking on more than just an on-time budget this year.  Facing reelection in 2014, and trying to turn the tide of sagging poll numbers, Corbett had pushed an aggressive agenda and urged legislators to address it together with the annual budget.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130701_ett_endorses.html#kk0Wb8ECx92pXBYK.99

Reading School Board Makes Budget Progress

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slowly toiling away, looking at proposed cuts from every angle imaginable, the Reading School Board inched closer and closer to its members’ goal: a balanced budget they can live with.

Following the board’s voting meeting Wednesday night, members stuck around to pick through the administration’s latest proposed 2013-14 spending plan.

They reviewed a list of 18 cuts one by one, taking straw polls to find out which ones have support and which ones don’t.

And, with two days before they plan to vote on a final budget, they appeared to have finally made some big decisions.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=487596

Daniel Boone Board Shuts School; Makes Little Budget Progress

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daniel Boone School Board didn’t waste time in deciding Monday to shutter Amity Primary Center, but spent more than an hour discussing other budget-related moves with little progress.

Several residents expressed frustration about the slow-moving budget discussion, noting that the same cuts have been on the table since December.

“It just seems like we don’t make decisions,” resident Rich Martino said.  “We push it off meeting after meeting and now we’re up against a deadline and I don’t know if we’re going to make the right decision.”

The board will vote on a tentative $52.45 million budget next week.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=477022

Budget Presentation Disappoints Reading School Board

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The third time was not the charm.

The Reading School Board held its third budget workshop Wednesday night, and for the third time board members were disappointed.

It wasn’t because of the scope of proposed cuts needed to close a more than $8-million budget gap, but rather because of the lack of information. Again.

Administrators provided the board with a list of proposed changes – ranging from trying to bring some outsourced special education services back to cutting assistant principals from 12-month to 10-month employees – but did not provide a comprehensive plan to balance the budget.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=476031

‘Catastrophic’ Budget Laid Out By Philly Schools

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the “catastrophic” budget picture Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. laid out Thursday comes to pass, Philadelphia schools would be virtually unrecognizable come September.

There could be no money for counselors or librarians. There might be no sports or extracurricular activities. No dedicated funds for secretaries, aides, or summer school would be provided. And that would follow the steep cuts made over the last two years.

There also could be 3,000 layoffs, including some teachers.

This doomsday scenario comes as a result of a deficit of more than $300 million in the district’s $2.7 billion 2013-14 budget. Officials have asked for $120 million in additional funding from the state and $60 million from the city, as well as $133 million in concessions from labor unions.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20130419__Catastrophic__budget_laid_out_by_Philly_schools.html

President Proposing Tax Hikes

WASHINGTON — Seeking an elusive middle ground, President Barack Obama is proposing a 2014 budget that embraces tax increases abhorred by Republicans as well as reductions, loathed by liberals, in the growth of Social Security and other benefit programs.

The plan, if ever enacted, could touch almost all Americans.  The rich would see tax increases, the poor and the elderly would get smaller annual increases in their benefits, and middle income taxpayers would slip into higher tax brackets despite Obama’s repeated vows not to add to the tax burden of the middle class.  His proposed changes, once phased in, would mean a cut in Social Security benefits of nearly $1,000 a year for an average 85-year-old, smaller cuts for younger retirees.

Obama proposed much the same without success to House Speaker John Boehner in December. The response Friday was dismissive from Republicans and hostile from liberals, labor and advocates for the elderly.

But the proposal aims to tackle worrisome deficits that are adding to the national debt and placing a long-term burden on the nation, prompting praise from independent deficit hawks.  Obama’s budget also proposes new spending for public works projects, pre-school education and for job and benefit assistance for veterans.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/national-news/412726/President-proposing-tax-hikes

Reading Schools Begin Pondering $8 Million Budget Gap

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a lot of work still to be done.

Facing a budget gap estimated at about $8 million, that was the overriding message Wednesday night during the first in a series of budget workshops held by the Reading School Board.

Not much new was revealed during the workshop, with Robert Peters, the district’s chief financial officer, simply setting the stage for future budget talks by reviewing the district’s current fiscal status.

Peters said he built the initial $216 million budget – the one with the $8 million hole – without reducing any services or programs.  It includes the maximum allowable tax increase of 2.8 percent, as well as any other projected changes that he could predict to expenditures and revenues.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=465957