HASD Budget Talks Start

From a seven million dollar deficit down to just two and half million.
That’s currently how much the Hazleton Area School District budget is in
the red as officials dove into the money plan Tuesday night to come up
with a balanced budget and find ways to make up for the downfall. News
13 was there for the first in a series of important budget meetings that
will happen now on a regular basis. A preliminary money plan needs to be
in place by June 1st and then 30 days later, the final budget must be
voted on by the board. Superintendent, Dr. Francis Antonelli, tells News
13 that right now District Administrators, teachers and staff and going
line by line, item by item, to cut where cuts can be made. One part of
the budget that could be challenging is Kindergarten because of the
Governor’s proposed budget which eliminates some grant money for
Kindergarten programs. Dr. Antonelli said they are also looking at
staffing, class enrollments and elective courses. Some proposed
administration positions may also not be filled. Transportation is also
another factor in balancing the budget. One thing that is not in the
budget for next school year as of now is money to re-open some of the
district’s pools. Currently, the only pool that is filled and in use is
at the High School. The closing of the pools continues to be a subject
of debate according to Dr. Antonelli.

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