Greencastle-Antrim school employee pension fund will have big budget impact

PAT FRIDGEN

A sneak preview of the next Greencastle-Antrim School District budget is showing some big number issues.

The net impact of the new PSERS rate to the Greencastle-Antrim School District in 2012-13 will be $600,000. Business manager Richard Lipella reported to the school board on Feb. 2 that the amount the district was required to submit to the state Public School Employees Retirement System jumped from 8.65 percent to 12.36 percent. The money G-ASD paid in to the employee pension fund was based on their salaries and benefits. The following year the rate would be over 16 percent and the local jurisdiction had no control to change the numbers.

Other than that, his preliminary look at next year's budget showed the district to be in good shape. Federal and state aid were predicted to be flat, but expenses were also similar to the past, and a major savings of $100,000 in utilities seemed likely.

"We've done a little bit, we have a long way to go, but we are at a better point at this time of year than we have been for many years," Lipella said.

He planned to have some firm numbers at the Feb. 16 meeting.

Other business

The board unanimously rejected a request by the Human Resources department to move four employees from Job Band 6 or 7 to Job Band 3. Support staff were categorized into 10 bands, with the pay scale based on job description and experience. The highest rate of pay was in Band 1. Joel Fridgen, Melinda Cordell, Brian Hissong, Eric Holtzman, Tracy Baer, Mike Still, Mike Shindle and William Thorne voted no. Ken Haines was absent.

The employees had completed an online Pennsylvania Paraprofessional certification course.

"The certification is required if someone is going to work with special education students," explained Holtzman. "However, these four were staying in their current positions. A $2 or $3 per hour raise was possible with no job change."

The wage range for Band 7 is $9.26 to $12.48, Band 6 is $9.72 to $14.86, and Band 3 is $12.45 to $18.12. Holtzman added that if an employee was at the top of the current scale, the move to the first level of Band 3 would not have meant an increase in salary.

Superintendent Dr. C. Gregory Hoover introduced a possible calendar for next year. Open houses for each building on campus would be on separate nights Aug. 20 - 23, with the first day of school for students Aug. 27. School would be in session Nov. 12 for Veterans Day.

"We have overwhelming support from the veterans groups. The kids wouldn't be learning anything sitting at home."

However, Martin Luther King Day Jan. 21 would be a teacher inservice day. The last day of class would be June 5 with graduation June 8. The calendar will be considered for approval by the board at the next meeting.

The retirement of Sean Kolanowski, high school math teacher, effective the last day of the school year, was approved.