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EACS predicts ’12 budget surplus

– East Allen County Schools has a brighter budget forecast in 2012, officials said, due in part to a boost from federal dollars and savings from the district’s redesign plan.

East Allen Business Manager Kirby Stahly told the school board Tuesday that revenue will exceed expenditures in the district’s $59.6 million state-supported fund by about $150,000 in 2012.

The fund would have come up about $1.6 million short, he said, had the district not received $1.8 million in federal money approved last summer to save teaching jobs.

Superintendent Karyle Green said the district would either need to increase revenue or make additional cuts next year to avoid a deficit after the federal funds expire. The board should be prepared to discuss the issue in the spring, she said.

Stahly said the district will be able to save about $2.7 million in salary costs in 2012, largely because of layoffs tied to the district’s redesign.

He said district residents would see minimal tax increases as a result of the district’s construction projects next year, though the amount could rise in the future depending on the costs of the projects.

The district plans to conduct a public hearing on the budget in September and approve the budget by Nov. 1.

ISTEP results

Bill Diehl, the district’s director of accountability and technology, reviewed the district’s ISTEP+ results.

Overall, the percentage of East Allen students passing both the math and English portions of the exam rose from 63 percent to 66.2 percent. At public schools statewide, an average of 70.2 percent of students passed both sections.

Of the 16 schools that administered the test, 11 had higher passing averages this year on both the math and English portions of the test. Several elementary schools had significant improvement rates – jumping from 10 to 20 percentage points.

“We focused so hard on math, reading and writing,” Diehl said. “We are catching up to the state and this is what we’re going for.”

Diehl attributed the gains to a mix of factors, including a new core curriculum, instructional coaches, online learning and new testing tools to help teachers tailor their instructions.

School names

The board voted to change the names of Hoagland Elementary and Woodburn Elementary to Heritage Elementary and Woodlan Primary School, respectively.

Green said the schools would schedule an event to celebrate the new names before October.

dhaynie@jg.net

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