Norwin to hike taxes despite cost cuts, furloughs |
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Joe Napsha

Despite Norwin’s plans to layoff one assistant principal, notifying four teachers they are furloughed, cutting two secretarial positions and other cost-cutting moves, the school officials this week still are projecting that property owners will see a 2.4-mill tax hike for property owners in the upcoming fiscal year.

The school board Monday revealed plans to furlough Troy A. Collier, who has been the assistant principal of Norwin Middle School since July 2014, said Superintendent William Kerr.

Kerr said the school district is hoping to be able to reassign Collier, a former principal at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, to a teaching position.

That personnel move is to be ratified when the school board meets on Friday, Kerr said.

By eliminating one assistant principal’s job, the district will save about $145,000 in salary and benefits, said Ryan Kirsch, Norwin’s business affairs director.

Three teachers were notified they will be furloughed — two in family and consumer science, one art teacher and one in health and physical education, Kerr said. One remains working on a second certification, pending state Department of Education approvals, Kerr said.

Timothy Kotch, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said one teacher has been able to obtain extra certification and there is time this summer for other teachers to get certified in different subject areas that may allow them to fill other teaching jobs.

Three teachers were notified of furloughs, only one remains working on a second certification. Pending meeting PDE approvals, all will be reassigned according to open vacancies within the teaching ranks, Kerr said..

The district will hire nine full-time teachers, seven of whom will be in special education, plus two long-term substitute teachers, Kerr said.

The cutbacks in employees will save the district about $230,000 of the $796,000 in expenses that have been eliminated over the past month, Kircsh said.

To balance the $70.9 million budget for the 2018-2019 school year, Norwin will use $534,00 of its $3.8 million fund balance,to balance the budget in the new fiscal year, Kirsch said. The proposed tax hike of 2.4 mills — the highest permitted by the state without any special exceptions — would increase Norwin’s millage to 80.0 mills.

The school board is expected to vote on the final budget when it meets on Friday.

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