HUGHESVILLE - As the calendar approaches January, the East Lycoming School Board passed a resolution to call Congress to action so school districts will not suffer a funding loss if a deadline is not met.
A few years ago, Congress was told to balance the budget and if it could not, automatic cuts would occur to school districts, in addition to other services. The 8.2 percent potential loss would affect most aspects of the district that are federally funding, excluding school lunches, Superintendent Michael D. Pawlik said.
The resolution, which unanimously was passed at Tuesday night's school board meeting, will be similar to others from school districts to try to convince Congress to work together so the cuts will not take place.
With East Lycoming's budget of about $327,000, cutting 8.2 percent of the federal dollars will result in about a $26,000 loss, or the salary of an intervention teacher who helps students who have a difficulty in reading, Pawlik said.
If the school district does suffer a loss in federal funds, "the kids are going to be hurt," he said.
Districts will find out how they will be affected in January, depending on if Congress can balance the budget.
In addition to possible federal budget cuts, after meeting with Ron Tomalis, state Department of Education secretary, Pawlik said it seemed like there would be no additional funds coming from the state, despite revenues increasing slightly this year.
That means it would be possible there would be no new funds from the state, decreased funds from the federal government and an increase in pension costs.
"It can be a challenge," Pawlik said.
In other business, the board passed a resolution that does not require purchases less than $18,500 to go to bid, he said.
There never has been an increase from the previous cap of purchases not exceeding $10,000 which could receive quotes, rather than bids. The state now has allowed districts to increase that amount to $18,500.
Each year, the maximum rate will increase to match the cost of living, Pawlik said.
"It's expensive and complicated to put (purchases) out to bid," Pawlik said.
The school board's final meeting will be a reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.