State College

State College school board OKs administrative changes, holds budget hearing

Personnel matters were among the first orders of business during Monday evening’s meeting of the State College Area school board.

The board approved Mark Feldman as the new principal of Mount Nittany Elementary School. Feldman will be stepping into the shoes of the retiring Debra Latta.

In other human resources related news, Sharon Salter was approved as the new director of special education and Kathleen Pechtold will replace Curtis Johnson as associate principal at State High.

In May, Johnson was named as the high school’s new principal.

After the completion of routine approvals, the board voted in favor of the purchase of 3.98 acres of land to add to the pre-existing Panorama Village Administrative Center site.

The district will purchase of the property from John and Sandra Lieb for $235,000.

There are no immediate plans for the new land. In the fall, Panorama Village will replace the building at 131 W. Nittany Ave. as district headquarters.

Later in the evening, the board voted to approve the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees collective bargaining agreement.

AFSCME represents the district’s custodial maintenance and food service employees.

The new agreement, which provides salary increases and a new health care insurance program, begins July 1and runs through June 30, 2021.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, the board held a public meeting to review details of the proposed final budget for the 2016-2017 school year.

Salary and benefit expenses account for approximately 69 percent of the district’s budget, which includes six additional teaching positions — three elementary core teachers, two Delta Middle level teachers and one learning enrichment and gifted support teacher.

The 2016-2017 budget includes revenues of $144,611,162, which is a 6 percent increase from the previous year.

Also included in the budget is a proposed real estate tax increase of 4.32 percent. That figure can be broken down as the sum of the 2.4 percent allowed under the base Act 1 Index, the maximum real estate tax increase that is allowed for the district, and the 1.92 percent for referendum debt exceptions

The board will vote on whether to adopt the budget during a meeting June 13.

Students graduating this year from State College Area High School participated in a graduation walk. A group of grads went to elementary schools in the district.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready