Shaler Area schools committee discusses substitute teachers, budget

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A group of teachers spoke tonight at the Shaler Area school board committee meeting concerning a shortage of substitute teachers at the Jeffrey Primary School.

“We are keenly aware of that situation,” Shaler Area School District Superintendent Wes Shipley said.

Parents said students in various grades were sent to other teachers’ classes on several occasions recently when a substitute was unavailable.

“We constantly add substitutes,” said Gary Mignogna, director of human resources for the district. Mr. Mignogna and Mr. Shipley said the administration is considering an increase in the substitute compensation at Shaler Area as a way to draw more teachers to the district’s substitute service.

In other business, Charlie Bennett, director of business affairs, introduced the proposed preliminary general fund budget for the fiscal year 2014-15. As it currently stands, the difference between expected revenues and expenditures is $2,439,646.

Mr. Bennett explained that the preliminary budget is a work in progress. “We’ll bring that more in line with what we need by the time we need to balance the budget in June,” he said.

If the school board approves a lease agreement between the district and Apple to lease 690 iPad minis, it will substantially cut the technology expenditures, Mr. Bennett said.

The Shaler Area school board will vote on this and other matters at its voting meeting set for 7:30 p.m. May 21 in the Duss conference room.

Rita Michel, freelance writer,

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