BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Lacakwanna Trail School Board unanimously approved an $18.6 million budget for 2012-13 on Monday night that will see taxes in the Wyoming County side of the district go up 2.27 mills.
The property tax rate for Clinton Twp., Factoryville borough, Nicholson Twp. and Nicholson Borough is now 69.97, up from 67.7 mills.
The tax rate for the Lackawanna County side of the district is now 134.66 mills, up to .74 mills from a year ago.
The only discussion about the budget at the public meeting came from board member Joe Strauch who said he had been initially opposed to raising the tax rate, but believes the district has squeezed every penny it could to make it work.
The board also approved a homestead and farmstead exclusion resolution, which business manager Dave Homish said represented about a $220 discount for those who qualified.
In other business Monday night, the Trail board voted to appoint Joan Horwatt as mathematics chairperson at a stipend of $1670, and Heather Hallowich to a long-term substitute teaching position at $43,000 a year.
It also approved Casey Cathrall as a summer volunteer boys’ basketball coach, pending receipt of clearances.
By a 7-1 vote, the board approved a ‘dress and grooming’ policy that had been a souce of concern at previous work sessions.
Superintedent Matthew Rakauskas said that he appreciated the public’s input, and the new policy did amend disciplinary consequences.
He said he believed the policy would be somewhat easier to enforce and was fair, and now there would be a need to clearly communicate the consequences.
Rakauskas made note of the fact that a blouse without a collar could be part of a girl’s formal attire, and that all pants must be a solid color.
Principal John Rushefski also noted the addition of spirit days, typically the last school day of the week when students would be allowed to wear closthing with Trail insignia or attire supporting a given team or cause endorsed by the school. He noted the policy would be evaluated at mid-semester.
Without public concern, the board also approved unanimously an ‘Acceptable use of the Internet’ policy that had minor grammar changes from what the board had seen at a previous work session.
The board’s next meeting is set for Aug. 13.
Because there would be no meeting in July, the board authorized Homish to pay bills that couldn’t be held until August.