November 2015

PA State Budget Impasse – Day 147

by Robert Bruchak on November 26, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 8.52.52 PMThe Pennsylvania budget impasse has now dragged out for five months. Recently, it appeared that a compromise was reached and a framework for a budget appeared to be hopeful. Here is a summary of what the tentative framework looked like:

  • $350 million in new money for basic education funding. (There is no decision on how to distribute these funds, although it is likely at least some will go through the new funding formula which has not yet been approved.)
  • $50 million new money for special education to be distributed via the new special education funding formula.
  • $2 billion to be generated through a state sales tax increase from 6% to 7.25%. This money would go to property tax relief. (Formula for distribution is yet to be determined.)
  • Gaming money that is currently funding property tax relief would be diverted to pay for pension costs.
  • Pension reform for new employees would include a side by side hybrid plan.
  • Backend referendum to control school district property tax increases. This is known as Senate Bill 909 (there are different ideas about when a referendum should be implemented.) The backend referendum would have serious negative implications for public education and limit the role of school boards. Any tax increase would have to be put to public vote for approval. Referendums have rarely been successful in Pennsylvania.

There has been a lot of discussion during the budget debates about fully eliminating property tax. The funding for schools would primarily come from the state. There was recently a proposal to eliminate property taxes and replace it with a higher sales tax and an increase in personal income tax. This bill nearly passed in the senate on November 23rd. The vote ended in a tie and was defeated by the tie breaking vote of the Lieutenant Governor, Mike Stack.

There appears to be a misinformed assumption during this budget discussion – the feeling that school boards raise taxes for expenses they can control. However, the fastest growing costs for school districts are tuition to charter schools and increased contributions to the state’s school employee pension system (PSERS). School boards have control over neither of these mandated budget items.

What Pennsylvania needs is a budget that is a compromise between the Governor and the Legislature. A budget that is good for public education keeps local control, and is good for  both the students and the citizens of this state.

School Board Directors Honored

by Randy Ziegenfuss on November 19, 2015

Mr. Giordano, Mr. Frankenfield, Mr. Gatanis, Mr. Mantz

Mr. Giordano, Mr. Frankenfield, Mr. Gatanis, Mr. Mantz

Long-term school directors are being honored across the state by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association at local school board meetings. School directors are recognized for years of service ranging from 8 to 36 years.

The following Salisbury Township School District board members received recognition for their years of service. Each was presented with a certificate adding him to the PSBA “Honor Roll of School Board Service.”

  • Frank Frankenfield – 8 years
  • George Gatanis – 8 years
  • Thomas Mantz – 12 years
  • Russell Giordano – 16 years

Congratulations to these gentlemen and THANK YOU for your tireless service to our district, students and public education!

2015-16 New Staff Feature – November 15

November 14, 2015

This school year we welcomed many new staff members. Throughout the  year, we’d like to introduce these new staff members to the Salisbury community through a series of blog posts. Please welcome Oksana Hunter, Melissa Kristie and Theresa Celestine! Oksana Hunter Job role in STSD: Instructional Assistant Building assignment: Salisbury Middle School Previous work experience: I was […]

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RSVP Now – 1st Annual Community Breakfast – Saturday, December 5

November 14, 2015

Salisbury Township residents are invited to join us on Saturday, December 5 between 9:00-11:00 AM at Salisbury High School for a Community Breakfast! See the attached flyer for more details. Register now at http://www.stsd.org/breakfast Deadline for registration is December 1! Download the Community Breakfast Flyer!  

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2015-16 New Staff Feature – November 8

November 6, 2015

This school year we welcomed many new staff members. Throughout the  year, we’d like to introduce these new staff members to the Salisbury community through a series of blog posts. Please welcome Katie Stehly, Nancy Fenstermaker and Linda Gardus! Katie Stehly Job role in STSD: 8th grade Social Studies teacher Building assignment: Salisbury Middle School Previous work […]

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Join us for the 1st Annual Community Breakfast! – Saturday, December 5

November 4, 2015

Salisbury Township residents are invited to join us on Saturday, December 5 between 9:00-11:00 AM at Salisbury High School for a Community Breakfast! See the attached flyer for more details. Register now at http://www.stsd.org/breakfast Deadline for registration is December 1! Download the Community Breakfast Flyer!  

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