The Everett Area school board on Thursday evening voted to raise taxes to the Act 1 limit, 4.6%, putting the millage at 12.1468.
The board voted 6-3 on the matter with Fred Baca, Charlee Howsare and Jamie Howsare voting no. The yes votes were President Kyle Cornell, Joseph Payne, Jim Keebaugh, Peggy Clark, Casey Weaver and Dustin Wilson.
Baca said he voted no because the state should provide more money to the school district and that the increase in taxes is $300,000, while charter school costs are $600.00 for the district.
“With gas as high as it is, it’s hard to ask people for more,” said Baca.
Baca explained he has talked to residents of the district from different walks of life and that he thinks people and families are in a tough situation.
Superintendent David Burkett said the board has to be careful about what they are doing and plan ahead for September 2024 when ESSER funding runs out. Burkett pointed out the numbers business manager Theresa Smith provided with the increase and homestead/farmstead.
While taxes are increasing around $47, the homestead properties increase will see homestead properties receiving around $43 more in savings.
The general fund budget currently sits at $22.9 million. The athletic fund budget is $77,000. The Everett area parks and recreation budget is $7,500.
Assistant Superintendent James Hollis announced the school, along with Chestnut Ridge and the Bedford County Technical Center, would receive a grant for computer science. Everett’s portion is $101,000 and will cover start up costs and 32 specialized computers for their computer science program.
The board accepted Cindy Miller’s retirement. Cornell said she has been teaching in the district for 17 years.
Ashley Clark’s resignation from high school English teacher, homecoming and senior high student council was accepted. Deb Chiappelli-LaSalle’s resignation from site coordinator for the elementary after school program, effective June 30, was accepted. The board approved the hiring of Bailey Foor, sixth grade teacher, Brittany Ketterman, math-computer science teacher, Jessica Michael, fifth grade teacher, Dannah Robosson, high school learning support teacher and Ryan Ickes, sixth grade teacher.
Cole Over resigned from junior high assistant wrestling coach and was approved for assistant varsity wrestling coach. Other approvals were Zach Clark as junior high wrestling assistant coach, Dustin Mallow as head junior high soccer coach, Andrew Klotz as assistant varsity boys soccer coach, Steve McCahan as a soccer volunteer, Matt Wagsworth and Jeff Hetzel were approved as varsity football volunteers, Jess Beegle as basketball volunteer, Danielle Fetters as head junior high cheerleading coach, Hunter Valentine as assistant junior high football coach and Jim Grove as junior high football volunteer. James Droz was approved as the 2022-23 assistant athletic director.
Other board news included:
• Approving Raystown Ambulance as medical service provider for home football games
• Approved First National Insurance Agency LLC, of Pittsburgh, to provide cyber risk insurance through Coalition Insurance Solutions Inc. for $10,722.
• Approved in-car driver’s education to operate in the summer according to current health and safety requirements at time of service.
• Approved the creation of a K-12 autistic/emotional support teacher.