The budgetary deficit at Loyalsock Township School District is shrinking as Business Manager Gerald McLaughlin continues to look for ways to reduce expenses.
McLaughlin told the school board Wednesday he has reduced the deficit from $925,000 to about $376,000. Additional revenue is coming in from the refinancing of bonds and a change in health care plans, he said.
He also has been making cuts, and the budget is "not aggressive, but more conservative than we have been in the past," he said.
Once the deficit is down to about $350,000, McLaughlin said, the board can use money from its fund balance reserve to cover the rest if necessary, although he will continue to look for potential cost savings.
In other news, the board received a request from the Loyalsock Little League for help financing field improvements. In the past, the cost of Little League projects has been split three ways between Little League, the school district and the township parks and recreation department. McLaughlin said the cost to the district would be about $2,800.
President Margaret Piper said the board needs more information before it can vote, such as the specific field in need of improvements and whether the league has received multiple bids.
The board also heard from Title I instructors, who provide supplementary instruction to students in danger of reading failure. Title I services are provided to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Terri Deitrick, the Title I coordinator for the district, said that while the amount of federal funding the district receives is based on its level of poverty, the Title I services are not limited to students in poverty. Instead, they are given to students determined in need of extra instruction through assessment tests.
Jan Dulak, a Title 1 instructor, told the board the program no longer has a stigma because the instructors come into the classroom rather than pulling specific students out.
"Children don't even know if they are Title I eligible," she said.
Dulak said her biggest challenge is motivating students to push themselves. "We want to empower the students to become confident, motivated readers," she said.