North Hills School District News Article

Board approves proposed final budget for 2024-25 school year

Posted Monday, May 6, 2024

The North Hills School District Board of Education approved the proposed final budget for the 2024-25 school year at its committee meeting with action on Thursday, May 2. The meeting was held in the LGI Room at the North Hills Middle School.

The proposed budget has revenues and expenditures of $99,979,330 and includes a real estate tax increase of .67 mills. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 of assessed value.

With the proposed increase, North Hills’ millage rate would go from 19.70 to 20.37, an approximate 3.4 percent increase, which is significantly less than the 6.2 percent maximum increase allowed under the Act I Index set by the state.

Should the budget pass as proposed, homeowners with a home valued at $134,400, the median in Ross Township, would pay $90.05 more per year or $7.50 more a month. Homeowners with a home valued at $97,600, the median in West View Borough, would pay $65.39 more per year or $5.45 per month. For a home valued at $300,000, the increase is $201 per year or $16.75 a month.

The proposed final budget includes the addition of three new elementary assistant principals, a grant writer, an autistic support teacher and a custodian.

The elementary assistant principals are in addition to the hiring of Kaitlin Hoch as assistant principal at West View Elementary School. If approved, an assistant principal will be assigned to each Highcliff, McIntyre and Ross elementary schools to support our students and staff as our elementary school populations continue to change and grow. The proposed hirings are part of the district’s overall plan to strengthen support for students as announced when current North Hills Middle School Principal LaMont Lyons was named the district’s new Director of Student and Community Engagement to lead the new School Climate and Culture Council.

The autistic support teacher will address student needs, the custodian will work at West View Elementary School to support the building’s expansion, and the grant writer will explore alternate revenue sources for the district beyond taxpayer dollars.

Additionally, two indoor track coaches, a director of cheerleading, and two sponsors for the North Hills High School Buddy Club are funded in the proposed budget.

In prepared remarks prior to the board’s vote, school director and finance committee chair Samantha Ellwood conveyed some of the challenges of this year’s budget including the dwindling American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund, which will be depleted in September, the concern for lost tax revenues from commercial property appeals, and the district’s continued cost for cyber charter school tuition.

NHSD Director of Finance Jerry Muth also gave an overview of the proposed final budget on Thursday. His report can be watched here.

All board members voted in favor of the proposed nearly $100 million spending plan with the exception of Elizabeth Nease, who voted no citing the cost of the personnel additions.

The proposed final budget is available for public inspection at the district’s administration center located at 135 Sixth Avenue in Ross Township, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The final 2024-25 budget will be up for approval at the school board’s meeting on June 6.

A fourth and final public budget meeting will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the Ross Elementary School auditorium. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

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