The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

January 24, 2014

FULL TEXT: Dr. Mark DiRocco's presentation regarding new high school

Here is the text of a presentation made Thursday evening by Dr. Mark DiRocco, superintendent of the Lewisburg Area School District:

MISCONCEPTIONS AND FACTS REGARDING BUILDING A NEW HIGH SCHOOL

There have been several media postings regarding the Lewisburg Area High School Project including several articles, numerous ‘My Turn’ pieces, and letters to the editor.  It is important to provide the community with accurate information and correct misconceptions that may exist.  Below is the Superintendents response to information that has been presented by several authors over the past few weeks:

Misconception:  Instructional supply budgets are 20% less than district projections and our teachers have about one-fifth of what they need to purchase supplies.

Fact:  The four building allocation budgets have been trimmed by more than $100,000 over the past three years as we have reallocated resources.  However, $100,000 was added to the technology budget this past year to support the district’s digital conversion initiative and $50,000 was placed in a new account to assist with school security after the Sandy Hook Shooting.  We are reallocating our resources to align with our needs and educational goals.

The administrative team is not aware of any teacher lacking educational supplies for their classroom.  A budgetary reserve account is available for any classroom needs and we have not received any requests for additional supplies.

Misconception: We are unable to afford the financing of the new high school.

Fact: We can finance the new high school without increasing the budget.  The general operating budget currently contains 2.75 million dollars for debt service and capital projects.  Every scenario reviewed to date to finance the new high school is within this figure.

Misconception:  The district will max out its borrowing capacity if it issues a 35 million dollar bond.

Fact:  The district’s current borrowing capacity is in excess of 62 million dollars, which will allow the other phases of the School Board approved Master Facilities Plan to begin after the high school is built. The district’s debt payment needed to finance the new high school is already contained in the current budget.  The budget will not have to increase to take on the new debt.

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