State College

State College approves final budget

On Monday evening, the State College Area school board voted unanimously to approve the final budget for the 2016-2017 school year.

The board reviewed the details of the proposed final budget during a special meeting June 6.

Among the particulars was a 4.32 percent real estate tax increase, which can be broken down as the sum of the 2.4 percent allowed under the base Act 1 Index — which dictates the maximum real estate tax increase allowed for the district — and the 1.92 percent for referendum debt tax exceptions in association with the State High project.

Prior to Monday evening’s vote, the district had received the necessary approval from the state Department of Education for the Act 1 Index exception.

If the board had chosen not to take advantage of the debt exceptions during the year of eligibility, it would have forfeited the opportunity entirely for the future.

The total cost of the increase — considering an average taxpayer with an assessed property value of $71,985 (about $257,000 in market value) is $130 per year.

Also included in the budget are six additional teaching positions — three elementary core teachers, two Delta Middle level teachers and one learning enrichment and gifted support teacher. Employee salary and benefit expenses represent close to 69 percent of the budget.

Total expenses are listed at about $146,985,032. The budget includes revenues of $144,611,162, which is a 6 percent increase from the 2015-2016 budget.

Earlier in the evening, the board approved the appointment of Vernon Bock to the post of district supervisor of elementary education.

The position is replacing the assistant superintendent K-8 spot that was held by Jason Perrin, who will now be serving in the role of assistant superintendent for secondary education.

Bock is the principal of Walker Upper Elementary School in Charlottesville, Va.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready