Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The budget outlook in the Reading School District isn’t good, but it’s not quite as bad as originally advertised, district officials said Wednesday night.
The Reading School Board held a public budget meeting at Reading High School, providing the dozens of parents, teachers, students and others who attended an update on the 2012-13 budget and a chance to speak about potential cuts.
From the outset, administrators and board members challenged the picture painted by former administrators – eight of whom were fired two weeks ago – that the district is facing a $53 million budget shortfall.
I am pleased to learn that Act 93 employees and PSD administrators have taken voluntary pay freezes. The teaching staff is not part of this group. The Pottstown Federation of Teachers is now involved in a contact dispute with the district that is not going well.
Teachers in the Fleetwood School District (Berks County) have been asked to take voluntary pay freezes, along with the administration, which will save the Fleetwood School District $800,000.
Teachers in the Twin Valley School District (Chester County) have been asked to take voluntary pay freezes, along with the administration, which will save the Twin Valley School District $600,000 to $700,000 a year. The Superintendent, Dr. Robert F. Pleis has already volunteered to take a pay freeze along with his colleagues at Fleetwood and Pottstown.
We give the PSD administration two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for leading by example.
The board also voted NO on “forward borrowing”. “Forward borrowing” would have allowed the district to borrow up to an additional $23 million, over and above the $28 million already authorized. The $28 million was authorized for renovations at the district’s five elementary schools. We applaud the fiscal responsibility shown by the board. PSD already has an enormous debt from the renovations at the high school and middle school. Taxpayers cannot afford more debt. Any amount over $28 million will need voter approval!