Board also spproves proposed $65.9 million budget that would result in a tax increase.

Last updated: May 08. 2013 11:53PM - 2797 Views

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KINGSTON — Wyoming Valley West board members were divided Wednesday night over an appointment for fall coaching.

The board also approved a proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year that could result in a tax increase.

Two board members voted no to the coaching positions list, which included Ted Jackson Sr. as assistant football coach. Jackson’s contract was not renewed by the Dallas School Board and he was replaced as head coach in February 2012 for the 2012-13 season.

Gary Richards was one of the board members who voted no.

“We usually let the coaches pick their assistants. I didn’t agree with that appointment,” he said after the meeting.

Board member David Usavage said after the meeting that he objected to bad language that he said was used by Jackson.

“If I couldn’t use it in a classroom, I don’t think any coach should use it,” Usavage said.

Jackson will join his son, Ted Jackson Jr., who previously joined the WVW football staff. The younger Jackson was on Wednesday’s list as a volunteer.

The preliminary budget includes a 2.4 percent property tax increase, the maximum allowed by the state.

Business Manager Joe Rodriguez said that, if the full tax hike remains intact when a final budget is approved, it would translate into about $33 for the average property owner.

Even with the increase, the district is still looking at a shortfall of $976,000, Rodriguez said, adding that there is enough available in the fund balance, or reserve, to cover that if more cuts aren’t found by the time the final budget is passed.

The spending plan calls for spending a total of $65.9 million, up from $63.5 million this year. Rodriguez said the biggest single increase is in pension fund contributions, going up by $1.4 million. A state agency determines the rate of contributions required by districts.

A 4.4 percent increase in health insurance premiums translates to a bit more than $300,000 more in spending, Rodriguez said, while salary increases total $260,000.

The district will also have to pay about $200,000 more in debt service than this year, thanks to a $28 million expansion and renovation of State Street Elementary school.

Rodriguez noted Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget includes a boost in state funding of about $340,000, but the district is losing about the same amount in property tax revenue thanks to assessment appeals and demolitions.

The state requires districts to make the preliminary budget available for public inspection for 20 days. A final budget must be approved by June 30.

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