Middle school sports won't be completely eliminated in Upper St. Clair schools, but they will be drastically scaled back next year as part of a preliminary $59.2 million spending plan approved by the school board Monday night.
The plan, approved by a 6-0 vote, also calls for a property tax hike of 0.33 mills, the elimination of three professional positions and one administrator, and furloughing three support staff members.
Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said his staff will determine which programs and positions to cut before next month's final budget approval, but no matter where the district slices, students will suffer, he said.
"There's no sugar-coating it," he told school directors. "These are very difficult cuts that will have a negative impact on our district."
During budget discussions last month, the board asked administrators to reduce as many expenses as possible so the district's two middle schools could continue with some sports programs.
Administrators identified about $825,000 in savings, including $438,000 in staff cuts, along with reduced technology spending, fewer field trips, and slashing $100,000 from existing middle school sports programs.
Mr. O'Toole said there is about $25,000 left for middle school sports, meaning that most teams will no longer be able to travel to other schools. He said he will work with booster groups and coaches to determine which programs will be eliminated, scaled back or modified.
The school board is expected to review the budget again at a June 13 meeting, with final approval expected at the June 27 school board meeting.
Directors Bruce Kerman, Louis Mafrice Jr., and Louis Piconi were absent.
Janice Crompton: firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-223-0156.