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Parkland Approves LCCC, LCTI and CLIU Budgets

The Parkland School Board approved, with reservation, the budgets for Lehigh Carbon Community College, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21.

The  on Tuesday approved the budgets for three educational institutions that depend on the district for part of their funding.

The board voted 7-0 on the Lehigh Career & Technical Institute (LCTI) budget and 7-0 on the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 (CLIU) budget. 

Board members Mark Hanichak and Barry Long were absent.

The board voted differently, 5-2, on the budget for Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). Board members Jef Reyburn and Lisa Adams cast the dissenting votes.

Reyburn, the newest member of the board, said he felt “boxed in.” Parkland has its own budgetary concerns, he said, so it is difficult to justify the amount of money that it is expected to contribute to LCCC.

Board member David Kennedy said that despite his approval of the LCCC budget, “Jeff’s comments are well taken.”

Parkland is one of 14 districts that contribute to the LCCC budget of $41 million for the 2012-2013 school year. Parkland will contribute $1.2 million, an increase of $33,406 or 2.8 percent, from the previous school year.

“Why are we responsible for such a large portion?” Adams asked, adding that she doesn’t believe that LCCC gave “due diligence” to its budget.

Parkland Superintendent Richard Sniscak said it’s important to remember that there are 439 Parkland High School students enrolled in a dual enrollment program, who earn college credits by taking courses at LCCC. It’s an excellent partnership, Sniscak said, and one that will be expanded in the future.

Parkland is one of nine districts that contribute to the LCTI budget.  The LCTI budget for 2012-2013 is divided into three sections: $23 million for its General Fund budget, $1.3 million for its Academic Center budget and $102,350 for its Data Consortium budget.

Parkland’s total cost for LCTI will be $3.2 million, a decrease of $5,063.

Parkland is one of nine districts that contribute to the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit. The Intermediate Unit has a general operating budget for 2012-2013 of $2.1 million. Parkland will pay $200,401, an increase of $1,526, or .77 percent.

At last week's school board meeting, board member Roberta Marcus had grilled representatives of the three educational institutions about their budgets. Marcus had questioned staff salaries and any proposed raises, given that Parkland next year and Parkland for the current school year.

On Tuesday, Marcus said she was voting to approve Parkland’s portions of the budgets for the three institutions, but in the future “there should not be an expectation of approval.”

The institutions “need to control costs better,” she said, adding, “These are not sustainable budgets.”

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