Superintendent Explains School Pilt Expenditures
Carbon school superintendent David Armstrong outlined the district's use of payments in lieu of tax revenues at the county commission meeting Oct. 16.
The superintendent indicated that the PILT money the county has given to the district in the last year has been used in some valuable ways.
"I feel we have used the money well," commented Armstrong. "We brought in a number of consultants to help teachers to acquire some best practices that have been developed in education over the years."
The superintendent explained that, in some cases, teachers in the district were still using techniques they had learned in the 1970s. He felt the consultants the district brought in changed that.
"There is some money we have not spent, but we will be carrying that over for use in the next year," Armstrong told the commission.
But the Carbon commissioners had questions about the money and comments regarding what they expected.
"We wanted to give the district money so that kids could have some extraordinary educational opportunities," said Commissioner Mike Milovich. "We were thinking of the money for extra field trips like for physics trips, thespian events or even for the music programs."
Commissioner Tom Matthews brought up the fact that he had talked with some educators in the district and they said they had needs that needed to be filled with the money, but it had never been offered.
"It's not true that we haven't been offering the money for other projects and needs," retorted Armstrong. "All the schools need to do is ask. We have been giving money to some of them. We have allocated money for various needs and then we have saved some for special things that come up."
The school district received $74,555.91 to use for various purposes. Of the total amount, the district used $27,183.15 for salaries and $4,057.22 for related employee benefits.
Matthews was interested in what these salaries were for.
"In the past we had grants to run the am and pm classes," explained Armstrong. "Those are classes for students who need to make up credits. But we lost that funding so to continue serving these students, we used money out of the PILT funds to pay for teachers for those sessions."
All in all the district spent, besides the money for those am-pm salaries, $4600 for professional services, $440 for equipment rental, $4,906.33 for travel for students for field trips, $1,823.46 for supplies, $274 for software, $478.16 for furniture and $1,894.39 for equipment. Their total expenditure of the funds came to $45,656.71 leaving $28,899.20 left unspent.
"I would like to see better detail in the accounting of this money in the future," said Matthews. "I also would like to see the school district send us a letter about what they intend to buy with future money from this fund."
A question also came up as to what the district was going to do with the remaining funds.
"We will be spending some money for library books which some of the schools need," stated Armstrong.
Commissioner Bill Krompel told the commission that he had been quite pleased as an educator himself, with what he had seen with the consultants being hired with the money.
"I thought it was very valuable to us," he stated.
He also reminded the commission that the Pinnacle Canyon Charter School also gets some PILT money from the county.
In other business the commission did the following.
Pam Juliano from the United Way told the commission that this year the Angel Tree that has been operated by her organization in the past has been changed to the name Community Angels. The program will operate in basically the same way, but the reason for the name change is that another charity and one of the television stations in Salt Lake have trademarked the Angel Tree name.
Approved a zone change from RR-2.5 to C-2 for Mark Donaldson on Coal Creek Road. The rezoning was requested so he could park some heavy equipment on the property when it wasn't being used at a job site for the company he owns.