Director Calls Tunkhannock School Budget “Ludicrous”

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TUNKHANNOCK -- Talk of the $45 million budget in the Tunkhannock Area School District was grim Thursday night.

At the school board meeting, one director referred to the 2013/2014 spending plan as the worst she has ever seen.

"This is the most ludicrous document I have ever seen," said School Director Dr. Sandy Lane.

The school superintendent refused to comment about the financial situation, when asked by Newswatch 16.

The school business manager was not available Thursday, but has told Newswatch 16 in the past there is a possibility the state could have to take over if the district runs out of money. As for what that will mean, school officials said there are more questions about that now than answers.

Parents and community members expressed frustration with the situation.

"As a taxpayer, it's pretty distressing actually. You're paying good money for taxes. If you have a business in the area you're paying more taxes. You wouldn't think that would be the case, like where is your tax money going? And obviously it's your children's future at stake," said Gary Muckin, who has a child in the district.

So why is the budget situation such a problem? School officials talked at the meeting Thursday night about rising cafeteria costs.

Also the district owns a gas well where production has been halted for two months. Officials said that is tens of thousands in revenue.

There is also the cost of arbitration with the district's teacher's union and a standing appeal.