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Baldwin-Whitehall School Tax Increase Expected to Be 1/2 Mill

The B-W School Board will vote June 13 on its final 2012-13 budget, which calls for a tax increase of 0.5 mills instead of the 1.08 mills considered in an earlier plan.

residents braced for a  for 2012-13 can breathe a bit easier.

The B-W School Board on Wednesday night moved away from that figure and toward a 0.5-mill increase instead. On June 13, the board will have a final vote on the proposed increase as part of its $60.5-million budget.

If approved, the owner of a property with an assessed value of $100,000 in , or  can expect to pay an additional $50 per year as the district's tax rate rises to 23.90 mills. (Click here to calculate your individual taxes.)

Property reassessments for 2013 will not affect Baldwin-Whitehall until its 2013-14 school year budget.

District Superintendent Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak said that the move to a lesser millage increase is the result of one-time adjustments in spending for various programs during the coming school year. District officials also plan to utilize around $500,000 of the Baldwin-Whitehall fund balance—the budgetary surplus that the school board has been accumulating.

In theory, the district could hold its tax line by tapping further into that surplus, but rising costs—particularly with regard to employee contracts, health insurance and the state Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS)—make it prudent to maintain a healthy fund balance, according to some administrators and school board members.

Board President John B. Schmotzer pointed out that the district has not raised property taxes since a 1.50-mill increase in 2006-07. Since then, the rate has been lowered three times.

"We have saved the taxpayers $6.4 million in the past four years," Schmotzer said. "There comes a time when we're going to ask for a little back. This is necessary—very necessary—to maintain stability in this school district."

Schmotzer said that financial stability helps the district to maintain a , which in turn, has helped it to save money on insurance when floating and refinancing bond issues.

Although Baldwin-Whitehall faces state funding cuts, it has not been forced to take measures similar to what has occurred in other Pennsylvania school districts.

"This budget does not reduce any education programs whatsoever," Schmotzer said.

Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch later on Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night's school board meeting.

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JustMe June 10, 2012 at 03:20 PM
I graduated from Baldwin a few years ago and didn't realize what a mediocre school it really was until I got to college. Having graduated from Baldwin with highest honors despite not showing up for class very often and hardly doing any work, it was a pretty rude awakening to actually have to try in college. Baldwin's fine if you plan to join the military or go straight to work after graduation, but it's awful if college prep is what you're after. You can send your kids to Baldwin for an easy diploma, but don't expect them to be challenged along the way. I graduated from Baldwin in 2009, and am now in College with a 3.8 gpa doing half as much work as I did at Baldwin. Although I had a bad experience with peers I got an amazing education. The writing experience I recieved at Baldwin more than prepared me for College. However, I would add I took all honors and AP classes in high school so I am sure core and academic don't prepare you nearly as much I graduated from Baldwin a few years ago. Now that I am in college, I have noticed how mediocre Baldwin's education really was for me. At BHS, I slacked off all 4 years and graduated with higher than a 4.0 GPA. Now, I am attending a university with students who attended some of the best high schools in the country and I now feel below average. BWSD really needs to step up their game. At this point, I am for sure not living here post graduation because I do not want my kids attending this school.
JustMe June 10, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I am a parent who's daughter currently attends 10th grade at baldwin high school. My son, who is much older, said he loved the school district and is proud to be from baldwin. By the time my daughter got to middle school, she was completely unhappy with the school. My daughter's grades have dropped as she gets older due to horrible teachers. She comes home from school with tons of homework she does not know how to do. The school does not take care of her. I am very upset with the school. For how much my daughter complains, it's worth moving. I graduated from baldwin in 2005 and couldn't be any prouder to say that I went there... I played football (from 2002-2004 state ranked every year!!!!) and while I did slide on a few things from being an athelete I felt everyone got treated pretty fairly.... word to the wise if you have a senior push for Mr.youngt for english he may have been the smartest and most devoted man I have ever met in my life. He challenges his students to be the best they can and will not accept any less. So many students and somewhat diverse but always an excellent time and with the new renovations it should be even better Baldwin offers a variety of courses for students. The teachers are dedicated and caring.
JustMe June 10, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I just recently graduated in January and was very pleased throughtout my attending years. The teachers and staff were very qualified and helpful both in academics and general help. The safety within the school is great, the security guards do a great job. The fellow students are a little on the other side. You have your bad ones, your upper class ones, and then you really nice ones. But if you have children attending or will be attending, my comments about fellow classmates would be to just mind your own business and to stay with your group of friends. But other than the classmates, the safety, disipline, activites, and teacher quality are rated very, very high. I was taught and brought up right in the Baldwin- Whitehall School District, and I am happy to say that I graduated from here.
Michael Dobs June 10, 2012 at 07:20 PM
And just when the heck was Baldwin's football team rank in the WPIAL let alone the state. It's a good year if they are .500
BaldwinMom June 10, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Justme ...... did you read what you wrote on here? ML, I thought it was just me and I had to re-read those comments. JustMe ... when did you attend BW? My sons are out ... thankfully. And with my last one graduated recently he now tells me how he got away with sometimes not attending classes and no one actually caring. I used to see students going out the doors closest to the Sunoco gas station and actually going down there during school hours when they SHOULD have been in the actual building. I told my son that doing what he did was only hurting him, not anyone else and that he was denying himself the education he deserves and needs. My sons have told me about the drug deals that went on in the high school, who were the dealers and which teachers knew exactly who to go to to get what they wanted. Nice, huh? I was one of those moms who insisted on being in contact with each teacher my sons had in school each year. It was easier when they were younger. Once in high school I found that most of the teachers did not want that so I became quite the pain to them asking to be informed if there were problems and that I wanted to know when there was a problem and not two weeks after. I found the so called guidance counselors to be somewhat useless especially a certain female one. She knows who she is ... she is useless. Don't get me started ... I agree the Dean of Students is a totally unnecessary position ... it is a payback position.
BaldwinMom June 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
It was a position where the Schmotzers had to pay back the Wagners for some favor. So we are paying for that. Nice.
Concerned June 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Dean of Students position is a joke.Who came up with this position? And why?It should be looked into. Did anyone else apply or was it just handed to someone?
Common Sense June 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM
The Dean of Student's position is not a joke. In fact this is a creative way for the BWSD to save money and have a focus on supporting the students and discipline.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Plus mr ml i paid state and federal taxes so my money most certainly went to your children education, as this money also goes towards students educations.
Concerned June 11, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Its a creative way way to keep a football coach on the payroll and helping out a political family.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 01:16 AM
mr ml you said i never paid towards your kids going to school and i did, unless you sent them to the dog pound for classes as I pay federal, state borough, school, county taxes. On top of that they take a wage tax out of my pay and part of that also goes to the school district, so don't say i never paid towards your kids education, unless you don't have any and i'll bite my tongue at that.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Michael maybe in that students mind they were good back when he was in school.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Maybe the Dean of Students job is to make coffee and supply the donuts or bagels for the office The Principle takes care of running the school, vice principle is in charge of discipline, counselors take care of making sure that the students get the help they need for their classes, over see esl, and special ed.
bd June 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM
That is the job of Vice Principal. Save money? This school board? Now that IS a joke. The "Dean" position was created so that a person without state certification to be a vice principal could get an administrative position at high pay. It is a position that the school board majority uses to help their political friends or augment the pay of a sports coach.
Janet June 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Don't forget there is a Dean Of Students at Harrison too. What was the reason to hire him?
Common Sense June 11, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Jean, I believe you mean PRINCIPAL, not principle and I am sure that you understand the difference. Anyways, I believe that some people who make these comments on this website are very much uninformed and ignorant to how school districts set up their administrative teams. This is a model that was used in other school districts prior to BWSD using this setup and is a model that school districts are moving toward. I am sure that everyone has their reasoning and I am not certain exactly why they went this route, but one reason could be some stability in the administrative teams given the turnover rate that the BWSD has seen in the past decade or so.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 05:50 PM
They need to put money into our kids education instead of making new positions up.
Jean Smith June 11, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Common Sense sorry I spelled Principal wrong, I'll write it a hundred times for you. Where is this model school that Baldwin School District is coping after with a Dean of Students? Instead of a Dean of Students, we need to hire teachers that are capable of teaching and put the time in to teach our children.
Robert Edward Healy, III June 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM
A reminder that even masked profanity is not allowed on here. Thank you :)
Robert Edward Healy, III June 12, 2012 at 12:47 PM
If the victim is not using his or her real name, it's hard to disprove the lie.
Robert Edward Healy, III June 12, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Understood. We should be civil to each other. Removing now.
Sasafras Jackson June 12, 2012 at 08:50 PM
If I understand all of these posts correctly, the consensus of the community is to see what the Dean of Students does when called to action and control the millage rates at the same time. I could not agree more however I think that we need to remain in a joint front as we near community day because we are in this together.
cc June 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Robert, I have also seen ml do the same to others toss rude comment at them. I though everyone on here is suppose to be able to voice their opinion on matters and not be attacked.
Steve June 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM
If you go onto to the school board agenda for tomorrow, it looks like there are major changes in jobs coming along with the millage rate going up. Change is good, but I hope too much change this quickly won't do more damage than good.
Steve June 13, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Actually ML, it looks like cuts are hitting in numerous areas. Administration, transportation, teachers, maintenance, etc. If you go to the BW website and look at the agenda, you will see lots of changes are happening, furloughs.
Robert Edward Healy, III June 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Indeed, Steve. Here is this morning's story on tonight's school board meeting: http://patch.com/A-vdz9.
Common Sense June 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Actually the Dean of Students position at the middle school was not created, it replaced one of the vice principal positions. I also believe that the Dean of Students postion was already there prior to the current person occupying the position.
Common Sense June 13, 2012 at 02:19 PM
The board minutes have multiple furloughs on the agenda. If you look around at neighboring school districts, this is the case as well. The number of these cuts at the other school districts is higher than what is happening in the BWSD.
Robert Edward Healy, III June 14, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Surprise! Baldwin-Whitehall Maintains Tax Line: http://patch.com/A-vgK1
JustMe June 15, 2012 at 11:38 AM
ml like you never attack anyone. I have read your comments to others and your not so nice yourself

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