Posts Tagged ‘technology’

The North Allegheny school board will likely vote Wednesday to increase taxes in order to avoid cuts to programs, including elimination of a popular one-to-one technology initiative.

The board will consider two versions of a $144.2 million budget. Both versions were requested by board members.

“The reason the board requested two budget scenarios is because we need to consider what things would look like if a millage increase is not approved this year,” said board President Tara Fisher. “For comparison purposes, it’s important that the board understand the nature and the extent of any proposed cuts necessary to balance the budget without a tax increase.”

The first budget scenario, which is recommended by administrators, would raise millage by 3.43 percent, or 0.5972 mills, the most allowed by Pennsylvania’s Act 1. That would give North Allegheny a tax rate of 18.001 mills, one of the lowest rates in Allegheny County.

To read more, click here.

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Two years ago, a bipartisan group of NA residents came together to advocate for change on the North Allegheny School Board.   At that time, most of the school board members had been on the Board for over a decade, including Maureen Grosheider–who has been on the Board for 2 decades.
 
Under Grosheider’s Leadership, NA lacked a long-term strategic plan:
  1. The Board raised taxes for 3 years in a row (2010, 2011, and 2012).
  2. Inaccurate projections led to the recommendation to close an elementary school–the District projected an $8 million deficit, but ended the year with a $5 million surplus and an increase in elementary enrollment.
  3. Elementary classes operated above class size guidelines (11 sections were above the guidelines at the start of the 2012-13 school year).
  4. Classroom technology fell behind comparator districts (including Hampton and North Hills).
  5. The District was not compliant with Board Policy #4125–which requires that the District maintain a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to provide feedback on important District matters.
As a result of these issues, the district-wide movement to Save NA Schools took hold and 3 new members were elected to the NA School Board.  After the 2013 election, board members chose new board leadership and began the process of moving NA forward.
 
Under New Board Leadershipthe following changes have occurred:
 
  1. A new Budget and Finance Committee, comprised of 3 Board Members, was created to help prioritize District expenditures and develop a long-term plan with respect to fiscal management and tax increases.
  2. A new Technology Advisory Committee, comprised of teachers, parents, and taxpayers, was created to provide a variety of stakeholders with the opportunity to develop recommendations around advancing classroom technology. 
  3. A new Elementary Class Size Policy was created to provide guidelines for determining the number of elementary sections at the start of the year.
  4. A new Alternative Revenue Initiative was created for soliciting “payments in lieu of taxes” from large, non-profit organizations that reside in the District and benefit from the NA brand.  
  5. A new Citizen’s Advisory Committee was reinstated to give NA constituents the opportunity to provide feedback on important District matters.
 
As you can see, many positive changes have occurred under new board leadership.  We believe it’s important to keep that momentum going.  
 
Vote FILIAGGI, FINLEY, MAHLER, MEYER, DISQUE, & BLACKBURN on May 19th to Move NA Forward!

A technology advisory committee has recommended that the North Allegheny School District begin a one-to-one technology initiative, starting in the 2015-16 school year. The recommendation was presented at the school board meeting on Wednesday, March 25.

To view the North Allegheny School District e-Report, click here.

To view the presentation given at the school board meeting, click here.

To read coverage from the Post Gazette, click here.