Moon Area taxes to increase by nearly 1 mill

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The Moon Area school board voted Monday night to increase taxes by nearly 1 mill as they adopted a $68.57 million operating budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Taxes will increase 0.7294 mills, The current rate is 18.1167, so it will rise to 18.8461. meaning a Crescent or Moon property owner with a median priced home valued at $155,000 can expect to pay an additional $113.06 annually in taxes.

The district passed a preliminary budget in May that had already included $750,000 toward the state’s Public School Employees' Retirement System, so administrators have asked for the addition of eight teachers and the purchase of laptop computers for all high school students.

Because of an increase in expected enrollment, four high school and four elementary teachers will be hired; with two being assigned to Bon Meade and two to J.H. Brooks. The additions are estimated at $641,184.

Updates to what superintendent Curt Baker refers to as an “antiquated” computer system will start with an initial purchase of about 1,300 laptops, which will be bought in conjunction with an upgrade to Wi-Fi access in the high school. Future plans call for an additional 300 laptops to be purchased annually for incoming ninth-graders.

Eventually, used laptops will be refurbished and used to create mobile laptop carts for the elementary schools. By 2018-19, high school seniors may be allowed to leave the school system with their laptop.

Sonja Reis, freelance writer:

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