At its first meeting for 2014-15 the Daniel Boone School Board was already discussing money, but the focus was something other than the annual budget. Instead, the focus on Aug. 11 was on the number of fundraisers organized by the school district to support school programs and for other charities. Members of the elementary schools’ Relay for Life teams told the board they do not want to join with the Parent-Teacher Council or the Blazer Foundation on fundraising events.
District Superintendent Marybeth Torchia said she proposed the idea as a possible idea to “work together and keep as much money in the school district as possible.”
She said neither the PTC or the Blazer Foundation want to conduct joint fundraisers.
“None of the groups are interested in doing it,” Richard Martino, board president said, repeating, “No one is interested and it is a dead idea. You were told it was an idea. This is the Daniel Boone Area School District. We want one [Relay for Life fundraiser], not this school versus that school.”
PTC’s website lists the different amounts raised by the district’s three elementary schools (Amity Elementary Center, Birdsboro Elementary Center, and Monocacy Elementary Center) at various individual school fundraisers and general fundraisers.
“Tuesday folders are being inundated with Relay for Life papers,” said Torchia, about the flyers for the three Relay for Life family-type events held last year.
“I have a stack of papers on my desk that are Relay for Life,” said Torchia. “It may feel like just three events for you, but with all the schools … The high school team is established and well supported. I was told that the [elementary] relay teams are very competitive,” adding that she wants one flyer per school, for each Tuesday folder, instead of three or four different flyers.
Torchia said the district supports the annual blood drive in honor of leukemia victim Angela Hohl, who died in 2003, as well as many other fundraisers that do not also provide money to the district for programs.
“The fundraisers should be an opportunity for all students at all schools to participate,” said Torchia. “The blood drive, that is supporting an outside agency. Jump Rope for Heart, that [money] goes outside the district. It’s not like we’re not doing our due diligence to raise funds, but parents need to choose and there are so many choices to be made. There is not enough [money] to do for everyone, and what I’m saying is that we need to work together, and it is beneficial if the money comes back into our school district to support our students.”
“The school is not set up to be a big fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,” said Torchia.
She said conversations are continuing with the Relay for Life teams regarding fundraising in the elementary schools.
PTC President Amy Demberger said PTC doesn’t want to share or take money away from other worthy causes but they also don’t want to fundraise on the same night or weekend.
Torchia said she is already creating a calendar with fundraiser events that are approved by the district on a “first come, first served” basis.
Amy Hicks, president of the Daniel Boone Education Association, advised the board to “be careful about public perception regarding fundraising. It’s dangerous to say that you want to keep as many dollars in the district as possible.”
Martino asked board members to submit to Andrew Basile, chairman of the Finance Committee, any program adjustments, revenue enhancement (what taxes to raise) or expenditure-cutting ideas they have for the 2015-16 budget.
“A little more thought can be put into the budget instead of just scrapping everything,” said Martino. “If we have to raise taxes, do you want to go to the index, use exceptions, or go to referendum? I don’t want to put out this doom and gloom budget that we’ve put out the last couple of years.”
All 2014-15 school board meetings will be held in the cafeteria at the district’s new offices at the former Amity Primary Center. The board unanimously consented to using a device invented by board member Michael D. Wolfe for restricting public comment to three minutes.
After the start button has been pressed, the device’s green light will remain lit for two minutes when it will turn yellow indicating that one minute remains before the light turns red.
Wolfe said he considered adding a buzzer but that it was “obnoxiously loud.”
He has posted a video of the device use on You Tube.
The board approved during a special voting meeting the purchase of a portable audio sound system from Encompass Media, West Reading, at a cost to not exceed $9,891.
Scott Matz, director of Education Technology, said the district can choose a wired or a wireless system, but the wireless would be easier to set up.
The board accepted with regret the retirement of Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Kenneth Smith, effective Sept. 17.
Follow The Southern Berks News on Twitter and Instagram @sthrnberksnews, Tout @southernberksnews and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.com/southernberksnews