My Response

Jim Leous

Residence: State College

Campaign Web Site: http://leous.org/

Education: Penn State, M.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1991; University of Notre Dame, B.S. Physics, 1984.

Occupation: IT Manager, Penn State Information Technology Services

Qualifications: Parent of two elementary school children; Assistant Coach, State College High School Ice Hockey Team; Member, SCASD District-wide Master Facilities Plan Steering Committee; Member, SCASD Patrick Wang Innovation Grant Committee; Member, SCASD Bell Grant Internet implementation team; Cub Scout Leader; Adviser, Penn State student groups.

Answer: The most important issue is maintaining the quality of our schools in an uncertain economic future.  We must be responsible financial stewards when it comes to the SCASD budget.  We are embarking on the implementation of the District-wide Master Facilities Plan (DWMFP) in the midst of the worst economic situation of my lifetime.  Combined with increased pension commitments and increased utility rates, we are in for some fiscal challenges.

That said, wise planning now as in the past should help us prepare for the challenge ahead.  The current facilities construction and renovations recommended by the DWMFP Steering Committee call for us to use existing reserve funds to finance the project.  This should provide for investment (jobs, equipment) for our local builders while at the same time not increasing the tax rate.