The Southern York school board approved a tax increase for the 2014-15 school year when it adopted a final budget last week.

The district's $50.8 million budget plan includes a tax hike of 2.46 percent, less than the 2.5 percent cap allowed by the state this year.

That marks the seventh consecutive year the district has had a tax increase lower than the index, said Wayne McCullough, the district's chief financial and operations officer.

For a homeowner with a property valued at $177,000, the median value of a home in the district, the tax increase will be $76.11.

Deficit: The district also will be using $1.6 million of its fund balance to cover an anticipated budget deficit, a number that has been reduced from a $3.6 million deficit in November.

The three largest increases in the budget are for health insurance, special education and retirement contributions. Those total an increase of $1.6 million.

To reduce costs, the district decided to replace only nine of the 17 teachers after retirements and resignations, McCullough said. District officials are deciding how to organize staff so class sizes and programs are not affected, he said.

Aides: Four instructional aide positions also will be left vacant after retirements.

Several community members spoke out against reducing the number of instructional aide positions, sharing personal stories of how instructional aides have helped students in the district.

The board approved the budget with the instructional aide cuts. Afterward, board President Robert Schefter encouraged those present to start coming to more board meetings and budget meetings so their opinions are known sooner in the process.

The district is still in the process of redistributing the continuing aide positions based on the needs of students in the district, McCullough said in an email following the meeting.

— Staff reporter Nikelle Snader contributed to this report.