CANTON - Canton Area School Board members were recently honored for School Director Recognition Month and heard an update regarding state funding and a cyber charter school reform bill.

The school directors were presented certificates of appreciation.

"First of all, on behalf of the residents, parents, students, and staff, please accept this certificate of recognition of your status as an elected member of the Canton Area School District Board of Directors," district superintendent Matt Gordon said at the last school board meeting. He said their time and effort on behalf of the students was "very much appreciated."

The Canton School Board members are Jared Wilcox, president; Dennis Sourbeer, vice president; Gary Black, treasurer; Ryan Allen; Eric Anderson; Mike Herman; Bill Holland; Judy Sourbeer; and Melony Taylor.

"Legislatively, state leaders will be coming back from break on Feb. 7," Gordon reported. "School districts have been projected to receive level funding."

He added, "legislators really need to come up with a fair and equitable funding formula, especially for special ed funding. So far, there's been a lot of rhetoric and not much in the way of results."

Gordon said House Bill 618 is "the preferred Cyber Charter Reform Bill from all those that are currently being suggested."

It passed the House in the fall, and is currently in the education committee in the Senate.

According to State Rep. Paul Clymer (R-Bucks), chairman of the House Education Committee, it's "a good compromise" and is bipartisan.

According to Clymer, House Bill 618 would create a Charter School Funding Advisory Commission to explore funding issues related to charter and cyber charter schools and make appropriate recommendations to the General Assembly and the governor, at a date to be determined.

A news release from Clymer notes: "House Bill 618 would require reimbursement directly to charter and cyber charter schools from the Department of Education, with appropriate documentation of student enrollment and residency. No longer would payments be able to be held in escrow.  It would also return to school districts overpayment of cyber charter school pension costs allowed under the current funding formula. These and other funding reforms and efficiencies are expected to save Pennsylvania school districts approximately $84 million over the next two years."

In addition, Gordon noted that the district was nearing the end of the second marking period, and report cards will be going out on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Also, with all the various exams coming up, he said, "we've got a lot packed into the next two weeks."

Gordon said recent days that were missed will be made up on Thursday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 22.

He told the board members that they had been provided with an updated calendar.

Gordon said that no school would be held on Monday, Jan. 20. It's a contractual day between semesters and a teacher work day, with training and conferencing to take place. "It's going to be a busy day regardless," Gordon said.

Also that day, he said, negotiations are scheduled.

District business manager Mark Jannone reminded board members about the pre-Act 1 budget timeline. He noted that under this timeline, a tentative budget is brought before school directors in the April/May timeframe.

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: reviewtroy@thedailyreview.com.