The York City School Board decided to scale back a tax increase it had just put in place and restore full-day kindergarten, thanks to an unanticipated influx of state cash.
The final state budget included more than $5 million in additional funding for York City to use as it pleases because of its financial plight.
The board decided Monday to reopen its budget to take advantage of the extra revenue. The results will be tangible for city taxpayers and students.
* The tax increase will now be 8.5 percent instead of 17 percent. The mill rate will be 33.73 mills, about a 2.65 mill increase. For a $50,000 homeowner, that will add just short of $135 to the property tax bill.
* Full-day kindergarten will be restored. The board's previous version of the budget had it cut down to half-day.
* Some music, gym and art teachers will be added at the K-8 level.
* A yet-to-be determined number of teachers will be added throughout the district to cut down on class size.
Board president Margie Orr said class sizes otherwise would have approached 40-50 students in some cases, as the district was going to combine grade levels because of its $19 million deficit. Now the average class size likely will be about 30 students, said Superintendent Deborah Wortham.
Some taxpayers on hand said they thought the district should have used all the extra money to eliminate any tax increase.
But Orr said that wasn't possible, since some of that money from the state was tied to specific programs and couldn't be directly used to reduce the tax rate.
"We don't want our classrooms with 45-50 children. I don't think our teachers can handle that," Orr said.
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