Harner is the former Cumberland Valley School District superintendent, a position he held since 2008 until being selected as a replacement for Ronald Tomalis.
The Cumberland Valley School District is facing a $6.7 million budget shortfall for the 2011-2012 school year but is not considering redistricting or closing schools. However, there are 17 teachers retiring who may not be replaced and that would lead to larger elementary class sizes. Hiring nine new teachers would cost the school district $1 million and is part of a possible compromise plan to keep class sizes below a certain level.
The board does not want to increase taxes and is looking at all options to cut spending, including teacher and administrator wage freezes. If teachers took a one year wage freeze it would save the district $1 million. Teachers have not volunteered to do so at this time. Administration wage freezes would save the district $177,000. The board is also shelving a contract that would have given teachers 3.15 percent raises over the next four years. The board will begin renegotiating with the teachers unions.
The Cumberland Valley School District is located on Harrisburg’s West Shore with the principal town being Mechanicsburg. The district has about 7,800 students. There are seven elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and some administration buildings. The district was recognized in 2007 for the number of students achieving high PSSA scores and having a relatively low per-pupil expenditure. In 2011 Cumberland Valley was ranked 23rd out of Pennsylvania’s 498 school districts.