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Muhlenberg School district welcomes new assistant superintendent

Board votes to adopt 2014-2015 budget.

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - Dr. Alan Futrick is the new assistant superintendent for the Muhlenberg School district, effective July 1.

The Muhlenberg Township School District Board announced the hiring decision during Wednesday night's meeting.

Futrick, a graduate of Reading High School, returned to Reading to teach and later served as principal at Southern Middle School and Glenside Elementary.

Most recently, he served as a principal within the Upper Marion Area School District.

Futrick, who currently resides in Sinking Spring, said he is very excited about beginning work in the Muhlenberg School District.

In other business Wednesday night, the board voted to adopt the 2014-2015 Final Budget.

Budget expenditures total $52,223,957 while revenues amount to $51,522,600, showing a 2.8% increase from the 2013-2014 budget.

The millage rate has been raised by .75 mils, bringing the total to 27.56 mils, or $27.56 per $1,000 of the market value of real estate for the 2014-2015 year.

The main topic of discussion during the approval of the final budget was uncertainty about the size of the state's contribution to the budget.

"Contrary to what the state says, there is no increase for state education funding. The last thing I want to do is put our kids in jeopardy as a result of state policy…" said Otto Voit, vice president of the school board.

A big additional expense to the budget that school board member Mark Nelson felt might be impacted by a smaller state contribution, is the cost of three new hires to the district.

"I'm going to request we don't pull the trigger for new teacher hires and wait to see what the final is in case the final budget comes out to be less than the state stated," he said.

Voit had agreed with Nelson in prior meetings about proceeding with caution, but insisted on Wednesday that these new hires be made.

"If we need to cut back somewhere else we will, on these three hires I am absolutely on board and will find a way to fund it, it is critical to the education of the kids. Lower grades is where we make the most impact," said Voit.

Voit, a member of the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) liaison committee, said the focus of the organization is now more about advocacy for education and "all is moving in the right direction."

He also noted that legislators are already reaching out to the PSBA about new bills but in the past there would be no such contact, Voit said.

During Wednesday night meeting also, Food Service Coordinator, Carey Kline, informed the board that prices for lunches will increase five cents across the board, an amount which translates to a five cent increase per lunch.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for July 9.

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