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Trimble school board approves slight tax rate increase
, Courier Staff Writer
Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:00 AM
Trimble County school board members approved a slight increase in the 2013-2014 tax levy during a meeting Wednesday.
Board members unanimously approved the compensating tax rate for the third year in a row. The compensating tax rate allows the school to retain the same amount of funding from taxes that it received last year. The increase equals a tax increase of .002 cents, making the tax rate .624 cents per $100 of assessed value. A taxpayer with property assessed at $100,000 will see a $2 tax increase.
Bob Wagoner of OVEC Financial Services told the board that the district finished the prior year better than expected with more than $1 million to carry over into the new fiscal year. Yet cuts of more than $500,000 in state and local funding expected during this school year will take a lot of the money left over from last year.
"At the end of the day, you finished much better than we expected you to," Wagoner said.
Still, Wagoner said the school board may need to look at a more significant tax levy in the next few years to keep up with the decrease of state funding and the increase of expenses.
Eventually, the income and expenditures would meet and cause issues for the district's operation.
"At some point, you're not going to be able to do (the compensating tax rate)," he said. "The bottom line is you must remain solid."
School board members agreed to take Wagoner's advice under advisement for next year, depending on state funding and the district's financial state.
Also during the meeting, school board members received the ACT test scores for the 2013 graduates. The district's instructional supervisor Rebecca Moore said the scores were above the state average in all four core subjects and the composite score.
"They scored very well," she said, noting the Class of 2013 had always scored well on standardized testing.
The district scored 20.9 in English, while the state average is 19.2. Students scored 20.1 in mathematics, with the state average of 19.2. The district's reading score was 20.8 with a state average of 19.9, and students scored 21.2 in science where the state average is 19.7.
The district's overall composite score was 20.9. The state average is 19.6.
Moore said scores for the district's Class of 2014 looked good with scores in English, reading and science exceeding the state average. The group fell behind the state average in mathematics, she said.
In other business:
Principals reported a good beginning to the school year, along with a few changes.
Milton Elementary Principal Sharon James reported that the school's open house and jumpstart programs were well attended.
"We've gotten off to a really good start," she said.
Bedford Elementary Principal Debbie Beeles said this year's theme for the school is "Destination Learning," and teachers have decorated to support that theme throughout the building.
"It's getting off to a great start," Beeles reported.
Trimble County Middle School implemented some additional social media connections to distribute information for students and parents, principal Mike Genton said. Athletics have already begun as well.
"The start of school has been very smooth," he said.
Kerrie Stewart, the high school's assistant principal, said a new 30-minute advisory class has been implemented in the school day. Students might meet with teachers and administrators for career planning or extra skill improvements during the class time.
Trimble County High School also implemented more dual-credit and advanced placement classes this year, Stewart said.
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