The Wayne Highlands School District’s $43.6 million 2011-12 budget was unanimously passed at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.


The Wayne Highlands School District’s $43.6 million 2011-12 budget was unanimously passed at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.

With a property tax of 14.1527 mills, the budget reflects a 4.29 percent tax increase. That means a taxpayer whose property is assessed at $100,000 will see a tax increase of $58.27 over last year, for a total tax of $1,415.27.

Dealing with the ongoing uncertainty of state funding for public schools, Wayne Highlands Superintendent Greg Frigoletto says, “We’ve worked very hard to manage the best we can. We’ve been including in our cuts some retirements of teachers, and through that process not replacing staff, and still maintaining good solid numbers for classrooms.”

Still anticipating changes from the state, Frigoletto said, “What we’re hearing ... is that the senate and the house, hopefully by the end of the week, will have some more reporting that they’ll get back to districts in regard to what might hopefully be some reallocated funds.”

He says the lack of public education funding from the state is what’s placing an increased burden at the local level. 

Asked if he’d like to say anything to homeowners who feel their personal budget’s been stretched to the limit, Frigoletto said, “That I understand. That I would be compassionate of that. And that at this point in time, we are really in a position whereby we are dealing the best we can with what the state allocations are. And with decreasing allocations from the state, we still have to function. And we do the best we can to absolutely minimize the burden that would be placed locally,” he said.

Asked if they’d had to cut any student programs, Frigoletto said they’re not looking at “cutting anything for kids.”

But, if the state comes back with a dramatic decrease in the anticipated reallocation of funds, the Superintendent said, “Then, we will have to take a hard look at a lot of items and possibly make tough decisions ...The last thing we would ever want to do is cut programs for kids. So, right now, we’re hopeful, maybe optimistic that there’ll be some reallocated funds. And we’ll see when the time comes, if not, what we need to do to adjust.”
Asked about the governor’s prior proposal for a pay freeze for teachers, Frigoletto said, “Like many of the schools in the area, as of right now, the teacher’s association, the WHEA (Wayne Highlands Education Association), has opted to not entertain a freeze at the moment.”

Also discussed
• The following names were added to the district’s substitute list: Harmony Schmitt, Natalie Dickinson, and Patrick Blaskiewicz.
• Lisa Yatwa was hired as a part-time cafeteria worker at the Lakeside School.
• Elaine LoCicero was appointed Assistant Marching Band Director for the 2011-12 school year.
• Betty Ann Robson and Martha Curtis were appointed co-directors of the Honesdale High School All-Class Play for the 2011-12 school year.
• Berkheimer Associates was appointed as the district’s collector of delinquent 2010 per capita and occupational taxes.
• Diane Zintel was appointed as Asst. Board Secretary for the 2011-12 school year. 
• George Hubal was accepted as the low bidder to install carpet, tile and vinyl base at Honesdale High School, at a cost of $39,764.
• Bluff Blacktopping was accepted as the low bidder for drainage and paving work at the Honesdale High School in the amount of $52,200.