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Riverview raises taxes

| Thursday, June 21, 2007

Riverview School District property taxpayers will pay 2.7 percent more in the coming school year.

The board on Monday unanimously approved a $16.2 million budget for 2007-08 that includes a tax increase of 0.62 mills.

The rate is now 23.36 mills.

Board members said earlier that most of the increase is because of the higher costs of health care and retirement benefits.

The district also will be paying more for cyber/charter schools, special education and aides.

The final budget will be on display at local public buildings, Oakmont branch of Carnegie Library, Riverview Community Action Center, the Verona and Oakmont borough buildings, and the district's schools and administrative offices, beginning July 1.

Text debate

The board approved buying a new anthology-style English textbook that was the subject of heavy debate in past meetings.

Directors Ed Saxon and Glenn Armocida were the dissenters in a 6-2 vote. Saxon said he didn't support the book for the ninth-grade English curriculum because he felt students should be reading complete books rather than excerpts.

The book's purpose is to expose students to more poetry and short stories, Lynn Black, director of student achievement, has said. Students will still read full-length books, she said.

The books will cost $71 each.

In other business:

• The board approved an increase in breakfast and lunch prices by 10 cents.

The costs will be $1.85 for secondary and $1.60 for elementary students. The increase will equal about $20 per year pestudent.

Rising food costs are to blame for prices going up, said Superintendent Charles Erdeljac.

• The music department is playing musical chairs this coming school year. Chris Fox, former band instructor, will take over chorus.

Ian Hughes, of Mercer, will take over teaching music, marching band, stage band, jazz band and the spring musical orchestra.

Hughes is a graduate of Grove City College and has taught music courses at Commodore Perry School District in Hadley, Pa.

• Concerns about the quality of the school's Web site are being discussed, and the board has chosen to make improving it a summer project.

A team of community members, teachers, administrators and board members will be assembling, said board president Richard DiClaudio.

• The board will not meet until July 16, when it will have a study session at the central office conference room at 7 p.m.

The board will have a voting meeting July 23, at 7 p.m., in the high school library.

Holly Usher is a staff writer for the Advance-Leader in Oakmont and Verona.

Additional Information:

About the tax hike

Here's a look at the increase on a house with an assessed value of 75,000. Here's what the 2007-2008 tax bill will look like for such a property:

Old tax rate: 22.74 mills.

New tax rate: 23.36 mills.

Old tax bill: $ 1,705.50.

New tax bill: $1752.

Tax increase: $46.50.

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