As the Red Lion School District faces a budget crunch that includes raising taxes and not replacing some retiring teachers, one board member spoke out against hiring a new teacher who would start at the top of the salary ladder.

At a meeting earlier this month, the board voted 8-1 to hire Francine R. Jones of Dallastown as a full-time regular professional on step 15 of the salary scale. Jones has a master's degree plus 30 credits and 25 years of credited experience.

Red Lion's pay scale only has 15 steps. Jones' starting salary would be $78,408. She would be replacing Judith Mahala, who is retiring. Jones would be teaching fifth grade at Larry J. Macaluso Elementary School.

Board member James Clark voted against her hiring, saying he wanted "someone cheaper. We can hire someone who also has experience for half as much."

After the meeting, he clarified that he doesn't oppose hiring experienced teachers, but he wants to balance the benefit of their experience with the expense that experience brings to the district.

-- Reach Lauren McLane at