$44 million Hampton school budget approved

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Hampton school board approved a budget of nearly $44 million for 2013-14 on Monday by an 8-1 vote.

State law requires school districts to keep a windfall increase in revenues resulting from the countywide property tax reassessment to less than 5 percent. The tax rate of 21.35 mills was reduced to 17.39 mills to meet that requirement.

The board then raised the rate to 17.59 mills to balance the budget, which also uses $418,000 from the state Public School Employees' Retirement System stabilization fund to come into balance.

The final budget includes revenues of $43,491,736 and expenditures of $43,909,736. Board member Bryant Wesley voted against the plan.

At its June 3 working session, the board added $100,000 in spending to the budget for the purchase of new technology.

"I thought a lot about this since the last meeting, and I'm uncomfortable with the increase in millage to purchase new technology," Mr. Wesley said. "Even though it's minimal, I'm not comfortable with it being tacked on last minute."

Gail Litwiler asked if the extra money for the technology budget could come from the district's unreserved fund balance of approximately $3 million.

But Jeff Kline, director of administrative services for the district, advised against using the fund balance for the addition to the technology budget. He also said that, with many township homes still undergoing reassessment, final numbers on property taxes may not be available until well into the next school year.

District solicitor Patrick Clair agreed with Mr. Kline, saying that none of the newly filed 2013 assessment appeals have been heard yet.

education - neigh_north

Rita Michel, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com


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