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Derry board calls for 3.45-mill property tax hike

| Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 11:52 a.m.

The Derry Area school board Thursday approved a preliminary budget calling for a property tax increase of 3.45 mills.

Based on Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed state budget, schools could see a revenue boost, but the district will ask the state Department of Education for Act 1 exceptions totaling 1.67 mills above the 1.78-mill index.

“It's too early to tell,” district administrative assistant for business affairs Joe Koluder said of any increase in state funding.

The district will seek a 1.12-mill exception for retirement and an exception of .55 mills for special education, according to Koluder.

“We haven't raised (taxes) in a couple years,” board president David Krinock said. “We are going to file for exceptions, which would possibly get us up to 3.45 mills. Not saying we would need that kind of money, but projecting from where we are right now, that's what we're looking at.” The budget totals $33,228,910 in expenditures and $31,257,735 in revenues, requiring a contribution of nearly $2 million from the district's fund balance.

The board moved to expand its online curriculum offerings by entering an agreement with Lincoln Interactive to provide online education services for grades K-7 and creating an “Elementary On-Line Learning Coordinator” position as part of the district's supplemental professional personnel contract.

The program coordinator's salary would be calculated based on the number of K-7 students enrolled in the program.

Board of Education president David Krinock said the expansion of the school's online education program would benefit the district and its students by attracting students who may otherwise be drawn to charter schools.

The board voted to award a contract for repairs to the high school cafeteria roof to Davis Contracting at a cost of $77,150 from the Capital Projects fund.

Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or greinbold@tribweb.com.

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