Education

Glen Rock school taxes to increase 1.58 percent

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45b2cb25a5c8e81c2147_GRHS_elec_sign.jpg

Glen Rock property owners can expect to pay 1.58 percent more annually for school taxes, according to the district's administration.

On April 24, Superintendent Dr. Paula Valenti and Business Administrator Michael Rinderknecht presented the final, board approved budget for 2017-18. It represents a 2.99 percent general fund tax levy increase over the current 2016-17 school year, resulting in a 1.58 percent general fund/debt service tax increase of $168.60 on the average assessed home of $558,279.

The total 2017-18 budget is $51,042,107. Last year's budget totaled $48,795,801.

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The school tax portion of the annual property tax bill represents approximately two-thirds of a property owner's tax bill.

"Students are at the center of our budget," Valenti said. "I don't see this as a maintenance budget, it's rich and robust, moving the district forward."

Valenti referred to the district's long range planning goals which included expanding communications through social media. The district has launched a new Facebook page as part of that commitment.

The new items in this year's budget include a new learning management system and new website. At the high school, the district is launching its 1:1 laptop initiative, grades 9-12; a new elective, Introduction to Business; reducing accounting from a full-year to a half-year course; offering dual enrollment for entrepreneurship and investing; computer science II; Mandarin Chinese III; exploration of a physical education exemption; revised US and world history curriculum; revised Spanish curriculum; and the addition of a Playwriting Club, among other items.

At the middle school level, there will be new Spanish and social studies curriculum; a grade 7 Mandarin Chinese program; a Science Olympiad Club; and a new Media Center Maker Space--under development.

At the elementary level, there will be one full day kindergarten teacher position added; two world language teacher positions added as the district transitions away from Rosetta Stone or technology-based teaching; and a new social studies program, among other items.

At the middle and high school level, as well, the board is restructuring the activity fees which will result in more revenue.

While the board did not discuss specifics about the activity fee restructuring, Rinderknecht said he is "confident it will be launched successfully." Discussions about the increase in the fee occurred during March budget talks.

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