The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 9, 2013

A tough job with little thanks

Central Cambria, Johnstown earn kudos

The Tribune-Democrat

— Do we as residents of this area take for granted the tough job we entrust to and the great results we get from our teachers, school directors and administrators?

You bet.

We all want our district to be tops in education, best in test scores, have the latest classroom technology, produce the winningest athletic programs and graduate the most future doctors and lawyers.

Oh yes, and do all of this with a limited budget and without asking for more tax dollars.

How fortunate we are to have dedicated teachers and administrators – and neighbors willing to take on the challenges of volunteer school director. Note: That means they receive no pay for dedicating many hours and taking on many headaches to help run our districts.

Two front page stories in Wednesday’s Tribune-Democrat grabbed our attention.

In one, a Central Cambria School District parents group is asking people in the community to pitch in $2 per student they have in school to keep an off-duty police officer in their schools.

This is in reaction to threats written on a school bathroom wall last month.

Central Cambria doesn’t have funds in its budget – approximately $2,200 is needed – to pay the officer for the remainder of the term, Superintendent Vincent DiLeo said.

“We’re hoping for a federal grant that would allow us to keep an officer at the school next year, but that’s down the road,” DiLeo told our David Hurst.

This is the same district that a few years back was able to keep an in-school program going through the help of a pupil fundraiser.  

What a great example of parent participation and also of getting the most out of a budget and valuable, hard-earned – and limited – taxpayer dollars. 

The other story reported that the Greater Johnstown school board had approved a tentative 2013-14 budget that – get this – retains current taxes for the 16th consecutive year.

With less revenue coming to the district due to the economic conditions, Greater Johnstown has been forced to become more efficient, business manager John Zahorchak said.

We’d say its officials have been doing more with less for many years.

Kudos to these two school districts.


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