The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 19, 2007

Shikellamy budget approved

Shikellamy budget approved

SUNBURY -- The Shikellamy school board approved on Friday night a 2007-2008 preliminary final general fund budget of $34.39 million.

The amount includes a 4-mill property-tax increase.

"Despite the mill increase, when all is said and done the budget is estimated to show a $125,000 deficit," said David Sinopoli, the district's business manager. "However, we can use a fund balance from the previous budget to cover the deficit."

A copy of the budget will be available for inspection at the Island Park Administration Center of the school district, 200 Island Blvd., at least 20 days prior to the final adoption on June 19.

The proposed Shikellamy School District budget includes:

Real estate: 63 mills, up from 59 mills, producing estimated revenue of $10.65 million.

Occupational taxes: estimated revenue, $1.7 million

Per capita taxes: $5 per resident in the Shikellamy School District. Estimated revenue, $55,753.

Earned income taxes: one-half of 1 percent of income of residents. Estimated revenue, $1.8 million.

Real estate transfer tax: one-half percent (Nothumberland borough, Point Township, Rockefeller Township) and one percent (Snydertown borough) on real estate transfers.

In the information portion of the meeting called "Educating the Whole Child," Shikellamy High School principal Terry Roden presented an overview of a new initiative intended to create a culture of success in the school district.

Mr. Roden began by talking about today's youth.

"They are digital learners, they find and manipulate data, they analyze data and images," he said, pointing out that the use of future technologies were the keys to student success.

He then reported on a school study tour that he, selected faculty and some board members -- including Slade Shreck and Linda VanDerPool -- had taken to Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, N.J., a model school, where "failure is not an option."

"We went to this school and saw that the students were optimistic," said Ms. VanDerPool. "They expected to succeed and they did succeed. We need to bring that kind of attitude to our school district. Sometimes I think we expect failure, and we need to get rid of that kind of thinking. We need to change the very culture of our education here. That also needs we'll need to change the mindset of some of our teachers."

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