School Board Braces for Challenges

By Sarah Schaeffer and Jay Jackson –

Adding to the school district’s budget woes, the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau announced a change in state regulations that will cause a two to four month cash flow lag in some of their collections. According to Terry Hackman, Executive Director of LCTCB, Act 32 will impact school district revenue as it mandates collecting residency information about employees from their employers.

“Cash flow will be fine,” said district business manager Chris Johnston,”what’s more difficult is if we book revenue in one year and another year there could be a major hit to our revenue which we won’t get back.”

Board member Donna Wert questioned Hackman on where unknown money ends up. Hackman explained that if they can’t determine the residency of an employee, that money goes back to the municipalities where the employer is located.

The board also discussed the state budget cuts of more than $1.8 million to the district. A meeting will be held tonight at Manor Middle at 7 p.m. to discuss possible cuts in sports team funding.

Also on the chopping block is reimbursement for dual enrollment classes.

“Dual enrollment will lose money, but not the program,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Leichliter,”the program will still exist, I just don’t see as many students being able to afford it. Now parents will be paying Millersville or HACC tuition without payback.”

As a part of a proposed solution, meetings will take place between Leichliter and Principal Philip Gale to discuss the possibility of cyber-classes in place of dual enrollment in the future.

Another facet of last night’s meeting was student insight presented by senior Katie Maisel and junior Evan Bigler. The two presented the idea, already approved by Gale, to have student leaders meet with board members to discuss any ongoing events and concerns and answer any student questions. This meeting will take place in early April.

“We’re going to affect your parents’ pocketbooks, but we’re going to affect your lives,” said Frerichs of the future meeting.

With Hambright Elementary among the aging buildings in the district, the school board was discussing the opportunity for the public to have a voice in the outcome of the school building; whether it should be rebuilt or just renovated.

Comments

  1. Dr. Leichliter says:

    Great story! Thank you for attending the board meeting Tuesday night to report on this story.

  2. Rich Frerichs says:

    Thank you for attending our meeting on Tuesday night. You report was not only factual, but also very informative. You are always welcome to attend our meetings. We are looking forward to our meeting with the high school students.