YATESVILLE — Pittston Area School Board members approved the budget for the 2016-2017 school year Tuesday.
The budget stands at $47,411,913 in expenditures and includes a tax increase of 3.3 percent, putting it at 14.9773 mills. A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
Superintendent Kevin Booth informed the audience the budget will not force school board members to cut jobs or programs .
The budget also calls for teachers to be repositioned within the school district. The school board members approved the following changes:
• Robert Bartoli from sixth grade math to middle school computers.
• Jeff Martin from fifth grade to third grade
• Donna Cabrera from middle school special education to middle school consumer science.
• Alyssa Stella from first grade to middle school special education.
The reason for the teaching change is to put middle school students in grades five through eight on the same schedule, Booth said.
“There are multiple schedules running in the building at one time and it really allowed flexibility for us to have somebody teach multiple grade levels and teach multiple classes,” he said. “Next year, we’re going to have a schedule similar to our high school where we’ll have an eight-period day so that all periods are happening at the same time.”
Middle school teachers will not be replaced, but students will be divided evenly among teachers.
Toward the end of the meeting, the board members approved the motion to advertise for head coaching positions in sports at the end of their respective seasons rather than all at once at the end of the school year.
The motion was suggested by board member Rosanne Ricotta.
“If you opened up the football coaching position now, there wouldn’t be enough time for the kids to get ready for football,” she said. “If we opened that football position at the end of the football season and we selected a football coach, he would have the rest of the year to get those kids ready for the season. The same goes for basketball, baseball, swimming or whatever it happens to be. It’s a more fair thing to do; we address these issues at the end of the season as opposed to now when it’s too late.”
In other business, the school board members approved:
• The coverage of life insurance for district employees be awarded to Assurant Employee Benefits.
• Accept the applications of 15 teachers.
• Dr. Shawn Casey and Dr. Peter Loiacano as district dentists for the 2016-2017 school year.
• Dr. Darlene Dunay as the school physician for the 2016-2017 school year.