UNION TOWNSHIP – Administrators at Northwest Area School District in the Shickshinny Area told Newswatch 16 that the school board is considering a property tax hike, as well as furloughing six employees.
Superintendent Ronald Grevera said there are 215 fewer students attending school in Northwest Area than there were five years ago, and that pensions and other issues have led to a financial strain at the rural district.
"Cyber school, which is basically the entire $600,000 deficit. The district is left in a very poor position, to furlough staff and furlough teachers in particular,” said Grevera.
The school board is expected to vote on the proposed budget, with furloughs and a property tax hike, next month.
Union Township resident Rich Lapinski said he doesn’t think that many people would be able to afford a tax hike, because they are still recovering from flooding in 2011.
"It`s a very depressed area, a low tax base. We`re fortunate that we can pay ours, but I know a lot of people are going to have a problem with it,” said Lapinski.