The Dover Area school board adopted its final budget Monday, which includes hiring six new classroom teachers and a 2.1 percent tax increase.
Hiring staff to curtail the growing class sizes was a priority for the board this year, said business manager Belinda Wallen. The board discussed the number to hire over the course of several meetings, settling on the addition of six Monday.
The teachers will be placed according to the most need, Wallen said. An additional five positions will be filled after retirements this year, including four teachers and one administrator.
The tax rate will increase to 21.93 mills, an increase of about $67.50 for a person with a home valued at $150,000.
The tax hike will mean an additional $572,190 for the district, to help cover costs of the $56.4 million budget for the 2014-15 school year.
Other decisions: The district will also use $2 million from its general fund to balance the budget, according to board documents. A large portion of that, about $1.9 million, will come from money set aside in past years to help pay for costs of pensions and debt payments.
The board decided to eliminate the family and consumer sciences program at the high school, Wallen said. Many of those topics are duplicated from the intermediate school, where the program is ongoing.
The board also debated several other cuts in the past months, but decided to retain all of its library staff, keep secretaries working 12 months and maintain the director of curriculum instruction position.
The tax increase is less than the 2.8 percent allowed by the state Department of Education next year. The school board has consistently made it a priority to stay at or below the tax caps since they were established in 2006, Wallen said.
Other business: The board also approved a 10 cent increase for students' school breakfasts and lunches at all levels. Starting in the fall, elementary students will pay $1.50 for breakfast and $2.50 for lunch. Secondary students will pay $1.60 for breakfast and $2.60 for lunch.
- Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.