The Wilkinsburg school board voted Friday night to approve a $28 million budget that eliminates nearly 10 faculty positions and at least three administrators.
Business manager Philip Martell said four to five of the teacher reductions will likely occur through attrition without requiring layoffs.
The board also voted Friday to furlough one social studies teacher "due to a substantial decline in course enrollments."
The teaching cuts will be in secondary education programs, according to Mr. Martell, but he could not immediately specify which departments would be affected because resignations may eliminate the need for some layoffs.
The administrative positions to be cut are: a school psychologist, IT coordinator and social services coordinator.
Mr. Martell said the district has about 127 teachers and that the cuts would save the district about $800,000 next year. He said the cuts are within the state's guidelines based on declining enrollment because school districts are not permitted to cut teaching staff to meet its financial obligations.
No program cuts are reflected in the budget, Mr. Martell said.
The vote comes at the conclusion of a financially turbulent school year in which the district was placed on the state's financial watch list. In February, the board voted to take out a $3 million loan to cover general operating expenses after the state required the district to increase charter school tuition payments mid-year.
The district is expected to spend an additional $400,000 on charter school payments next year, totaling about $4 million.
Mr. Martell said that if current reassessment estimates hold, homeowners should expect to pay less in taxes than last year. The tax rate dropped from 36.67 mills to 32.63 mills, but because of reassessed property value, it's not necessarily a reliable barometer of an average change in tax obligations.
The district instituted a tax amnesty program aimed at collecting some of the nearly $16 million in delinquent real estate taxes. To date, about $600,000 have been collected, an amount Mr. Martell said has put the district on more solid financial ground through the budgeting process.
The $28,052,000 budget represents a nearly $1 million increase from last year, bolstered in part by the first $1 million installment of the $3 million loan.
Mr. Martell said with rising health care costs and pension obligations, the district was able to increase spending by just $1 million because of staff reductions and an unexpectedly high return on the tax amnesty program.
Friday's budget vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday, 28 days after the preliminary budget was approved. However, at least 30 days are required to pass before a final budget vote, so the board went into recess until Friday to comply with state law.