The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published January 19, 2013

Seneca Valley may faces $3 million deficit
Board weighs changes to graduation rules

Jared Stonesifer
Cranberry Eagle

JACKSON TWP — The Seneca Valley School Board could face a $3 million budget deficit that would need to be closed before the end of June.

Lynn Burtner, the district’s business manager, told the school board at a meeting Monday night that all the numbers concerning the 2013-14 budget are extremely preliminary.
However, she added that current estimates plan for $102 million in expenditures and $99 million in revenue. Any deficit under state law would have to be closed before the board passes a final budget.
Burtner released her preliminary findings after analyzing the “first blush” of numbers coming into the district.
“The numbers this time of year are unknown and best guesses,” she said.
One unknown factor includes how much money the district will receive from the state, numbers that will be released by the state in February.
Regardless, Burtner said the board can expect to see a proposed preliminary budget on the agenda in February.
In other business, the school board might approve changes this week to classes the district offers — changes that could alter graduation requirements for students.
Assistant Superintendent Matt McKinley in a presentation to the board Monday night proposed eliminating speech as a class required for graduation.
He said students are already receiving sufficient instruction in speech in other classes such as English and history and the added graduation requirement of speech has become obsolete.
McKinley said he would be “very comfortable” eliminating that requirement since students already engage in speech elsewhere.
Another change would eliminate physics as a graduation requirement. In its place, students would have a choice of taking any class that is related to the STEM field, which is science, technology, engineering or math, McKinley said.
The district also could offer new courses such as Advanced Placement World History for 10th grade students, Advanced Placement Studio Arts in 2-D/Drawing for 11th and 12th grade students and an Honors Engineering Experimentation class for students in 11th and 12th grades.
New courses would be offered in the cyber curriculum, and the board also might change how advanced placement and honors classes are weighted.
The board will vote this week on the changes, and if approved, they would start next school year.
All of the proposed changes are available on the district’s website.