Sto-Rox school directors furlough eight employees

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Sto-Rox School District's directors approved the furlough of eight employees and the reduction of one position to half-time tonight, based on alteration of programming and declining enrollment.

Positions affected were a maintenance employee, secretary, elementary teacher, elementary special education teacher, middle school science teacher, cafeteria employee and the elementary librarian.

The district's home/school visitor who provided social work services and acted as the attendance officer for all grades was also released. A music teacher's position will be cut to half-time.

Several positions were also eliminated through attrition, including a paraprofessional, a community liaison and a cafeteria employee.

Spring sports programs -- including boys' baseball and girls' softball -- were eliminated

The district, which serves students in Stowe and McKees Rocks, did not raise real estate taxes when approving its $21.97 million 2013-14 budget. Shortfalls in the budget will be funded by using approximately $1.46 million from undesignated fund balance reserves, bringing the fund balance down to about $1.3 million by June 30, 2014.

A presentation by director Ed Maritz Jr. before the board's vote tonight dispelled rumors of the district closing, merging with other districts or allowing for a charter school system to take over management of the district.

His presentation hinted at the possibility of the district having to enter into a distressed status by 2014-15 or 2015-16 if revenues received from the state remain stagnant.

He said his future year budgetary forecast is "cloudy with 100 percent chance of storms."

Administrators will not be taking pay increases during 2013-14.

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Sonja Reis, freelance writer:


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