Public can see preliminary Highlands school budget beginning Tuesday |
Valley News Dispatch

Public can see preliminary Highlands school budget beginning Tuesday

Brian C. Rittmeyer

Highlands School District residents can get a look at the district’s preliminary $46 million budget for the 2019-20 school year beginning Tuesday, according to a legal notice from the district.

The district will seek approval from the state Department of Education to increase property taxes by more than its state-imposed limit of 3.3 percent without a voter referendum based on special education and retirement costs, according to the notice and district officials.

The tax rate is now 24.63 mills, following a 3.5 percent increase, the maximum allowed by the district’s Act 1 limit, for the 2018-19 school year.

The budget will be available for public inspection starting Tuesday at the district’s administrative center, located behind Highlands High School at 1500 Pacific Ave.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the preliminary budget when it meets at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18 in the high school library.

A week before voting on the budget, the school board will hold a public hearing on permanently closing the current Highlands Support Center, formerly known as Fawn Elementary School.

The hearing will start at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 in the library at Highlands High School, ahead of the board’s agenda meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

Those wishing to speak can register with board Secretary Michele Bloch at P.O. Box 288, Natrona Heights, 15065 by noon on Friday, Feb. 8.

Those who do not register in advance can sign up to speak at the meeting, and will be able to comment after those who had registered, according to the district’s legal notice .

Individuals will be given up to three minutes to speak; those speaking for a group will have up to five minutes.

Written comments will be accepted at the hearing and become part of the hearing record.

The school board will have to wait at least three months after the hearing to vote on closing the support center.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.