UDA board faces tough choices

Raise taxes or cut programs

By Rob Wheary, Staff

ELIZABETHVILLE – Upper Dauphin faces some tough choices on its 2016-2017 budget, which might include a tax increase, funding solutions or furloughs for teachers.
During a public budget workshop on April 26, members of the school board sat down with district superintendent Evan Williams and business manager Mary Bateman to discuss how to balance a $19.4 million budget with a $1 million deficit.
The coming year’s budget features revenue that will remain the same as last year, but with an extra $1.4 million in expenses, 75 percent of that figure coming from rising costs in the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System funding costs, health insurance and cyberschool.
At the start of the meeting, board president David Barder talked about cyber school, saying that he doesn’t think it’s fair that school districts are paying astronomical amounts of money to students when there is no accountability in some cases.
“There should be an outside organization that polices the cyber schools and looks after the students and if there’s no progress, the money stops and they come back in-house. The school is not going to do it because they are pocketing so much money, but there should be accountability and showing improvement on a daily basis.”

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