SHARPSVILLE — Property taxes are going up under the new budget for the Sharpsville Area School District.
The budget for the 2020-21 school year calls for expenditures of $18,631,273, a 1.3 percent increase from last school year’s budget, Senior Business Manager Jaime Roberts said.
Under the budget, property taxes were raised by 1.5 mills to 82 mills, a 1.9 percent increase. For the owner of a property with the district assessed average of $17,250, Roberts said the millage increase would be about $30 per year.
The school board approved the budget at its June 17 meeting in a 6-3 vote. Board members Nicholas Hanahan, Janice Raykie and Joseph Toth casted the dissenting votes, Roberts said.
The school district was able to generate some savings from the school closures due to COVID-19, although other cuts included furloughing a teacher and reducing another teacher to 50 percent. However, Superintendent John Vannoy said there were still expenses that the school district could not change.
“Cyber-charter would be something that we have no control over,” Vannoy said.
Another expense outside the school district’s control is pension contributions to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which increased from 34.29 percent of salarites to 34.51 percent in 2020-21. This will cost the school district about $2,580,791, Roberts said.
“This is probably the smallest increase in retirement in years,” Roberts said.
Local revenues are expected to decrease by about 20 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic, with total revenues for the school district projected at $18,365,166 for 2020-21, Roberts said.
However, the state allocations for basic education and special education will remain flat for 2020-21, with $6,456,200 allocated for basic education and $789,934 allocated for special education, Roberts said.
“The state budget level-funded different things, so there was at least not a decrease,” Vannoy said.
The school district will also continue its one-to-one technology initiative, a program where students in grades six through nine receive Google Chromebooks for the 2019-20 school year, augmenting the iPads already in use with kindergarten and first-grade students, Vannoy said.
Though the decision to move forward with the initiative was made well before the coronavirus pandemic, Vannoy said having the technology already in place helped when students made the transition to virtual education during the school closures.
Like David L. Dye on Facebook or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.