The Littlestown Area School District board of directors has approved a 3 percent tax increase for the 2021-2022 budget year on a split vote.
The budget motion passed with Dolores Nester, Robert Hahn, Melinda Jones, Brian Lawyer, Carl Thompson, and Yancy Unger voting to pass the budget, and Jennifer McClay, Jeanne Ewen, and Shari Kruger voting against the motion.
The tax increase would assist with the district’s proposed capital projects including renovations, repairs, and upgrades to the Alloway Creek Elementary School and the Littlestown High School, as well as options for renovations of or replacement of the Maple Avenue Middle School.
Further discussion concerning the budget revolved around the addition of a Spanish teacher for the middle school. The district is already involved in looking for a high school Spanish teacher to replace Heather Yonker who resigned in March. Board members discussed the need for a second Spanish teacher, if there would be a sufficient amount of interest from students in the middle school, and the $90,000 price tag.
“We had well over 100 students in seventh and eighth grade select to take a World Language course next year,” said middle school principal Matthew Meakin. “It has been one of our long-term goals to get a middle school language program started.”
Meakin informed the board there would be three to four class periods a day with 28 to 30 students per class. With scheduling of classes already completed for the 2021-22 school year, Meakin said it would be difficult to reschedule 100 to 120 students simply because there would be no Spanish teacher in the school.
District Superintendent Chris Bigger said if the new high school Spanish teacher could be shared with the middle school that would eliminate the need for the position, saving $90,000 in the budget. Bigger said the need for a second Spanish teacher would depend on the scheduling and number of class periods between the two schools.
The next LASD Board meeting is scheduled for June 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm.