YATESVILLE — The Pittston Area School Board has OK’d a proposed 2017-18 budget that holds the line on taxes but assumes that teacher salaries will remain the same as this year’s.
The board is in the midst of negotiations with three different collective bargaining entities representing district professionals.
Albert B. Malone Jr., a partner with Albert B. Malone Company, CPA, said the board and bargaining entities have to work together to come to a resolution before June 30. That deadline allows the board to adjust tax rates if new agreements raise expenses.
“It’s getting very, very difficult for one side to move unilaterally,” Malone said this week. “It now requires they be in sync.”
“Here it is, here’s what it costs, here’s what we can do,” Malone continued. “So now you’ve squared the box, you now need to play inside here and come to some common ground.”
The proposed final budget lists general fund expenditures at $48,205,828 with a millage rate of 14.9773. The budgetary reserve is listed at $150,000.
The board also approved contract renewals with food service entity Nutrition Inc. and NovaCare’s athletic training services.
Before the meeting, the administration recognized student feats at every grade level. Certificates were awarded to elementary students for achievements in reading. There were also awards for students selected by Hughestown Borough Police and Hughestown Mayor Paul Hindmarsh. Middle school students were honored for earning a place in the national History Bee competition to be held this summer in Atlanta.
The middle school Math Counts team was recognized for placing third in competition. Eighth-grader Jacob Savernak, 14, placed in the top 10 individually.
“I got to do math and hang out with my friends at the same time,” Savernak said.
Middle school students also received certificates for writing poems that will be published.
High school students were commended for their achievements in several areas, including the Pennsylvania High School Regional Computer Fair, Key Club, and Pennsylvania Music Educators Association band and chorus.