Penn Hills School District gets $3.3M from state, nixes plan to raise taxes |

Penn Hills School District gets $3.3M from state, nixes plan to raise taxes

Natasha Lindstrom
Tribune Review | File
Penn Hills School District’s Chief Recovery Officer Dan Matsook discusses the district’s proposed recovery plan at a town hall meeting on June 3, 2019.
Natasha Lindstrom | Tribune-Review
“We need people criminally charged,” Penn Hills School District board member Erin Vecchio told Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale during a town hall on the district’s financial woes that drew about 250 people to Community College of Allegheny County’s Boyce Campus in Monroeville on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

A last-minute reprieve in the form of $3.3 million in state money has enabled leaders of the debt-ridden Penn Hills School District to scrap a plan to raise taxes for the coming school year.

The boost also will allow the district to bring back six teachers and one specialist furloughed last month, board President Erin Vecchio said.

The school board on Saturday unanimously approved a balanced budget that still includes more than 20 teacher furloughs but no tax hike.

“It felt really good that we can help the senior citizens and the young people and the teachers of this district,” Vecchio said. “It was a great day for Penn Hills.”

The proposed tax hike was 1.9172 mills, or 6.69%. The current millage rate is 28.6646 mills, already among the highest in the region.

The now-nixed increase would have charged a homeowners about $144 more a year for a property assessed at $75,000.

The board had delayed the budget vote by a week in hopes of securing more funding from the General Assembly in the state budget.

Vecchio credited state Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, with helping to secure the new, $3.3 million funding from the state Department of Education. The money follows $4 million in state aid doled out to the district in the previous two years.

Costa said he worked to win support for the latest funding alongside state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Penn Hills.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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