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State treasurer to visit Warren school district

The Warren County School District is expecting a visit from some VIPs.

Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity plans to stop in at the Warren County Career Center on April 22.

At Monday’s meeting of the school board, Superintendent Amy Stewart credited board member Arthur Stewart with making the initial contact with the treasurer’s office.

“I’m excited to have them coming in,” Amy Stewart said. “It may be a great opportunity to talk about our needs here and talk about what we’re doing at our career and technical center.”

“I’ve been in touch with folks from that office,” she said. “It looks like it may become a rather large event.”

She said the office suggested inviting legislators and media.

The district is keeping an eye on a number of issues that could have impacts on its bottom line.

One of those is a statewide education fair funding proposal, including a lawsuit against the education funding process in the state. The trial in that case concluded last week, but a decision, and likely appeals, will stretch it further.

Act 35 of 2016 created a funding formula. That formula is used on a percentage of the state’s basic education funding. Board members have said that, if the formula were more widely applied, the district, which benefits from a Hold Harmless policy from 1990 — which ensures districts do not receive less money than the previous year — could see less funding.

With energy prices on the rise, a school board decision made years ago is saving Warren County School District money.

A previous board locked in the price the district would pay for natural gas.

Superintendent Amy Stewart said that contract sets the price at $2.83 per dekatherm.

As of Monday’s board meeting, the price was well above $4 and it had been “as high as $5.19, Stewart said.

She said the district is locked into that price through 2024.

The board is looking to save in other ways.

On Monday, the members approved a motion that would set up a sale of bond debt from 2017. The district would only refinance the almost $10 million in debt if the resulting agreement would save the district at least $192,000.

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