Shikellamy school taxes going up…again
SUNBURY– An increase in real estate tax and cuts to classroom aides–that’s the bottom line the 2013-2014 Shikellamy budget. During Thursday night’s meeting, the board voted 7 to 2 in favor of the $39.5 million budget which includes a nearly 4% real estate tax increase, that will mean about $50 more for the average real estate tax payer.
At the meeting, so called ‘paraeducators’ talked about the cuts they’ve faced lately. Their hours are reduced from 6.5 to 5.7 hours per day. Chloe Osman, Para educator for Shikellamy middle school spoke about her concerns for students saying, “The kids are the ones who are going to suffer.”
She said, “They’re not thinking about what is right and what is just for the kids. There are so many kids that need our help in the classroom and you are taking more hours away. So, it’s the kids in the beginning of the day or the kids at the end of the day that is going to miss out and they are not going to get that time.”
President of the Shikellamy School Board, Jim Hartman spoke about the cuts the district has had to make. Hartman said, “We have to look at balancing your expenses with services you can provide, and obviously this is one area that we took a look at and it won’t be the only one.”
The board and administration have attempted to control costs through a variety of cost savings, which include, not filling vacancies, and lowering electrical costs. (Sarah Lagerman)