DALLAS TWP. — Parents and teachers of Dallas School District’s Wycallis Elementary filled its board meeting room on Monday voicing concerns regarding the loss of their principal, Paul Reinhert, recently reassigned to the position of Middle School principal.
Also, the board approved its final budget for the 2014-2015 school year in the amount of $35.1 million. The budget includes a tax millage of 12.34, per capita tax of $10, an earned income tax of 1 percent and an emergency municipal services tax of $52.
A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation.
The budget reflects an increase in property taxes of approximately 5 percent. The budget was approved unanimously.
Reinhert’s move was necessitated when Thomas Duffy left his position as middle school principal to become assistant to Superintendent Frank Galicki.
Tom Traver, principal at Dallas Elementary School, will now head both district elementaries.
Reinhert, who at a previous meeting encouraged attendees to support the board’s decision to reassign him, asked the board to reconsider its decision.
“I sought be find the words support this decision, but I cannot,” said Reinhert. ” I am not ready to accept this move because I don’t think it is the best thing for our students.”
Board member Bruce Goeringer said he did not have a full understanding of the decision that was “made by a committee.”
A motion made by Goeringer to withdraw to executive session to further discuss Reinhert’s transition from his position as principal of Wycallis failed.
Chris Baron, guidance counselor at Wycallis, said, “Educational success demands consistency. The removal of Dr. Reinhert would be detrimental to our students. To many of them, it would mean three different principals in five years.”
Second-grade teacher Karent Heltzel said, “Dr. Reinhert makes education look easy, but it is not.”
Heltzel requested the board allow Wycallis Elementary to remain the “unique place it now is.”
Board President Larry Schuler said decisions of the board are always made with the long-term interests of the students in mind.
In another matter, the board approved a resolution opposing state House Bill 76, which would shift the tax burden from property owners to wage earners. The bill would do away with property taxes as a way of funding public schools.
Goeringer, in opposition to the resolution, said “although this bill is not perfect, it is markedly better than what we have now.”
Board member Jeff Thomas said the bill would not allow school districts access to additional funds in the event of an emergency.
Thomas also cited the unpredictable nature of revenue from sales and use tax for his opposition to the bill as it is now crafted.
Speaking in support of the legislation, resident Thomas Dombroski said the present tax structure puts an inordinate share of the tax burden on home owners and senior citizens.
The next meeting of School Board will be on July 14 at 7 p.m.