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Yough directors bump tax rate

| Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Yough School Board voted last week to approve the final 2013-14 budget and with it a 1.7-mill tax increase. Revenues are projected to be $28,784,486 — leaving a million-dollar-plus deficit.

Directors approved the $29,877,000 spending plan by an 8-1 vote with Director Gregg Nogy the lone voice in opposition.

After the meeting he said he was not against the tax increase, rather he thought the money in the budget could be allocated more wisely. “To justify raising taxes, I would like to see some of the other money we're spending spent a different way or more wisely,” he said.

One mill generates about $121,237 in revenue.

This year's tax hike is the first since 2008, when the rate was increased from 71.82 mills to 75.6 mills. The board lowered taxes in 2011 by 2 mills to 73.6 mills.

In addition to raising the tax rate to 75.3 mills, the board also uses about $1.1 million of the fund surplus. The projected fund balance at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year is a little over $4 million, according to figures provided by the district's business manager Mike Wrobleski.

The board in Sept. 2012 voted to designate the fund balance to cover estimated pension and healthcare premium increases through the 2017-18 fiscal year — about $2.86 million. That leaves about $1.2 million surplus available for operational needs.

In other business, the board approved the employment of several teachers:

Tyler Dillinger, social studies, step 1 masters $43,614; Heather Amey, elementary, step 5 bachelors $44,897; Nicole Andres, elementary, step 2 bachelors $43,169; Therese Berkey, art, step 1 bachelors $42,593; Jennifer Yasechko, world language, step 1 bachelors $42,593; Christy Jo Bell, special education, step 4 bachelors $44,321; and Jeffrey Smith, special education, step 7 masters $48,269.

The following teachers were granted tenure: Adrienne Jurcevich, Katie Frenock, Eileen Jensen, Jessica Macey, Audrey Sites, Crystal Donaldson, Barbara Kujawa and Sarah Mooney.

Robert Weaver was added to the substitute teacher roster for art.

The resignation of Daniel Allison, IT technician, was accepted and the hiring of Ryan Usher to take his place was approved. Usher's salary is $38,213.

Nanette Kuttler was hired as a building secretary.

The board also approved the purchase of new social studies textbooks at a cost of $180,094 to be paid from the 2013-14 budget and new science textbooks at a cost of $275,058 to be paid from the 2012-13 budget. Both sets are for all grade levels, K-12.

Superintendent Janet Sardon noted that the books were chosen based on how well they matched up with the new curriculum that was recently written. She also said there was considerable negotiation on the price.

She said, “The amount of free materials we're receiving is almost as much as what we're paying out, based on the resources for within the classroom, the teachers' editions and the extra resources that are all free to us.”

The new texts also include a six-year online subscription so the kids will have access to free online resources, she said.

William S. Zirkle is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bzirkle@tribweb.com or 724-872-6800.

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