Juniata County School Board approves a final proposed budget

MIFFLINTOWN – The Juniata County School District Board of Directors approved the proposed final 2013-2014 budget, with no tax increase, Thursday during a public meeting held at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School.

Treasurer Richard Meily said the proposed budget included a 2.3 percent tax increase and $160,000 deficit for Juniata County. Strong opposition from the board was shown in a 7-2 vote against the proposal.

A motion was made by Dressler and carried by the board to adopt the proposed budget with no tax increase.

Dressler said the proposed budget also shows a decrease in pay-to-play costs for students in the district. Last year, students paid $250 to participate in school sports. The current proposal shows a $100 fee per sport per student.

Also during the meeting, Shirley Schlegel and Gloria Brubaker, representatives of the Juniata County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees, presented two district teachers with Loretta Woodson Awards. Schlegel said the award honors the bequeath of a teacher of secondary English who believed public school districts do not receive the support and recognition they deserve.

According to a press release, the awards are presented to active public school employees who exhibit outstanding creativity, initiative and productivity to the learning process and growth of children.

Jacqueline Heidenreich, a teacher at Juniata High School, was presented with the Woodson award. Heindenreich was nominated by a parent, and her recommendation stated that she challenges and motivates students enrolled in her AP English classes. Cheri Peck, a paraprofessional in a Life Skills class at Fayette Elementary School, also received the award and was recognized for exhibiting creativity and initiative in the classroom with a compassionate attitude toward students.

The East Juniata High School All-State musicians were also present at the meeting. Vocalist Brynne Guyer opened the meeting by singing the Star Spangled Banner. Flutist Jennifer Tressler and violinist Gabriel Edwards played a movement from Sonata 6 for the board.

In other new business, the board approved:

A contract with Capital Area Intermediate Unit for special education services for the 2013-2014 school year at a total cost of $47,159.38.

Adoption of new algebra and trigonometry textbooks at a cost of $19,273.14. The purchase includes hardcover books, e-texts, resources and limited training.

An agreement with River Rock Academy, an alternative placement for students, for seven reserved spots at a per diem rate of $114.52, or an annual cost of $144,295.20, for the 2013-2014 school year.

The use of Tuscarora Junior High School for Migrant-ELL Summer School 2013, operated by Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 Migrant Education Program, in conjunction with the JCSD, contingent upon the availability of Title III funding.

Financial reports and bills for payment for April 2013.

Gilson Transportation to provide services for the Extended School Year program at an estimated total cost of $40,000.

Tess Beecher, Angela Bryner, Kayla Ritter, Stephanie Yetter, Emily Beck, Lindsay Sheaffer and Megan Shipe as substitute teachers.

The resignation of East Juniata High School teacher Amanda Lightner, effective at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, and part-time elementary art teacher Garry Price, effective Aug. 16.

Erin Robinson and Leighette Sechrist as elementary school teachers, effective Aug. 21.

Stephen Dreibelbis as district athletic director/Title IX compliance officer, effective July 1.

Richard Meily II as treasurer of the board for a one-year term and Polly Digon as secretary of the board for a four-year term.