MA board approves $26.9M budget

The Montrose Area School Board approved a nearly $27 million final budget at the Monday, June 10, meeting.

The board also moved to eliminate both the Per Capita and Occupation tax assessment, beginning July 1.

Board member Paul Adams said it was “rare” to have two separate taxes eliminated.

Tax rates were set at 50.2319 mills of assessed valuation on real estate; and 1/2% for real estate transfer.

Tax collection periods were set as the following: July 1-Aug. 31 at 2% discount; Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 at face; and Nov. 1 and after at 10% penalty.

Installment payment periods were set as the first installment due on or before Aug. 10; the second on or before Sept. 20; and the third on or before Oct. 31.

The Homestead/Farmstead exclusion was set and approved property owners will see a $364.17 reduction on their school taxes.

The board utilized $210,000 of the committed fund balance to address curriculum costs in the budget. The district is implementing a new sixth through 12th grade math curriculum.

Last year, curriculum funding was used in the area of English Language Arts (ELA).

Choconut Valley Principal Greg Adams said the data coming out of the new ELA program is “superior to what we’ve ever had.”

School lunch prices will increase by a nickel in the coming year. The board approved raising the student lunch price from $2.40 to $2.45 for full paying students.

Food Service Manager Betsy O’Malley explained that there is a formula districts can use to establish the appropriate price based on the federal free and reduced lunch reimbursement rate which is currently $3.

After discussing and revisiting the topic several times since early 2018, the board unanimously approved signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the District Attorney’s office and Susquehanna County to utilize the services of School Resource Officers.

The meeting started off with several student recognitions. Nicholas Coy earned a first place finish in the Media and Design State Competition in the animation category; and Governor’s Civic Engagement Silver Award was earned by Odessa Gaster, Nick Robinson, Andrew Rapisardi, Vanessa Flynn, Steven Vetri and Liam Mead for leading a voter registration drive among their fellow students.

The 1600 relay state medalists Collin Chidester, Brennan Gilhool, Henry Rogers and Chucky Rohan were acknowledged; as were archery participants. Seventeen Montrose Area archers will held to compete at Worlds in July.

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