Education

Bellefonte school board approves budget with tax increase and 8 new positions

Bellefonte Area school board approved the 2019-20 school year budget proposal Tuesday evening with a 1.5% real estate tax increase, creating eight new jobs within the district.
Bellefonte Area school board approved the 2019-20 school year budget proposal Tuesday evening with a 1.5% real estate tax increase, creating eight new jobs within the district. Centre Daily Times, file

The Bellefonte Area school board of directors unanimously approved the 2019-20 final budget on Tuesday night. The plan includes a 1.5% tax increase and the addition of positions.

Director of Fiscal Affairs Ken Bean said that’s a higher increase on real estate tax for the district but not a drastic rise.

“I’m pleased with that for the taxpayers of the district,” Bean said. “I believe we are still providing very excellent educational opportunities for our students.”

The 1.5% increase will bring the millage rate to 50.21, according to Bean’s presentation. With that, the average taxpayer in Bellefonte will see a $39.10 increase.

The 1.5% increase resulted from an increase in enrollment, charter school tuition, retirement costs set by the state and a lack of state funding.

The $53.3 million budget includes the addition of a Chinese teacher, two kindergarten teachers, a learning support teacher, an emotional support aide, one autistic classroom aide, a public relations specialist and a clerical position that will be split between athletics, buildings and grounds.

The district will also be contracting a social worker at a cost of $65,000. Charter school tuition is set at $2.75 million. Federal funding reduced by $46,000, so the budget includes an increase in basic education and special education funding.

  Comments