The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 23, 2012

Grant to save three teaching jobs

SELINSGROVE —  An $800,000 literacy grant will not only provide educational support to nearly 3,000 children in the Selinsgrove Area School District, but will save three teaching positions from elimination next year.

The district was among 329 applicants for the Keystones to Opportunity grant and was one of 57 recipients recently awarded funding, said Elaine Sautner, assistant to the superintendent.

The $826,148 annual grant will fund a literacy assessment data analyst and two literacy coaches, textbooks and assessment materials to provide literacy education to students in early child education programs through 12th grade.

Sautner said the grant, which could be available to the district for the next five years if funding is available, means the district can retain three of the 17 teaching positions eliminated from next year’s proposed budget of $36.29 million.

“But what will we do if we lose funding?” inquired board President Paul Spiegel Jr.

Superintendent Chad Cohrs said before the three positions are saved from elimination by the grant, the administration will meet with the teachers’ union and explain the positions would be furloughed if funding were lost.

Cohrs added that the deadline for announcing retirements is the end of April, and so far six teachers have announced their intention to retire at the end of this school year.

Not filling positions left by the six retirees combined with the three literacy positions that would be funded through the grant would leave the administration with the task of eliminating eight teaching positions, he said.

The district will adopt a proposed final budget for 2012-13 on May 14 and a final spending plan on June 25.

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