DuBois Area School Board holds work session; reviews proposed budget

   In spite of not having three board members absent, the DuBois Area School Board heard much needed information both about the current school year and the coming 2019-2020 year. Board members Patty Fish, Mark Gilga and Albert Varacallo were excused from the Thursday night meeting but the six members present received their first look at the possible 2019-2020 budget.
    That budget shows anticipated revenue of slightly over $58 million dollars, expenses of just over $64 million with a decrease of some $2 million in the surplus fund balance. That surplus will be less than the numbers show due to the district not using money allocated in 2018 for building expenses. The budget shows some $26 million comes from local sources, primarily local real estate taxes, $30 million from state funding and $1 million of federal funding.  None of the proposed figures represents much change from the current year. Previously the Board had adopted a resolution not to increase property taxes above the state index of 3.1%. The actual budget will be presented in May and will be adopted in June. The school’s fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th of the following year. 
    Before looking at the budget details the board heard from high school student  Hayden Sweet who had approached the board at an earlier meeting regarding an Eagle Scout project he proposed. The project will involve moving the bell from the Rockton School to the current high school and Sweet said he has been in contact with a number of local businesses  who have offered materials and services to move the bell. The bell, along with a suitable plaque explaining what it is and where it came from will be restored and moved to the high school location with the advise and assistance of the school’s maintenance department. Board president Larry Salone said the proposal will be on the agenda for the next regular meeting and he expects it to be approved at that time. 
      Substitute superintendent Wendy Benton presented the proposed school calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The calendar proposes  starting school for students on Friday, August 23, to be followed by a full week of classes the next week. With a few changes during the school year and barring school closings for snow or other emergencies, students would finish the year on May 26.
     Regarding the current school year, Benton said that as it stands now the high school students will finish on June 13, middle school students will finish on June 11 and elementary schools will complete the current year on June 10, although that date could change for elementary schools which could see the year end a day sooner. The discrepancies in the end of the year were caused by differing school closures at the high school and middle school due to mold issues. 
   The next regular meeting will be Thursday, February 28, at 7 p.m. at the administrative  building on Liberty Avenue.
Written by Glenn Schuckers

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