No one chose to speak at a public hearing as the Hamilton Southeastern (HSE) School Board moved toward enacting the 2018 budget. The spending plan totals $236.5 million, a 2.31 percent increase over the previous year. Chief Financial Officer Mike Reuter told the board there will be a small increase in the tax rate next year. He estimates a home valued at $100,000 would see a $6 property tax increase next year on the school rate, while a home valued at $250,000 would see a $22 increase in the property tax bill. Reuter added that property tax caps could impact some homeowners differently, particularly if that home is capped under state law.
In other school board news from the Wednesday evening meeting:
- The board approved refinancing a bond issue to take advantage of lower interest rates, saving the school corporation money.
- The board plans to ask citizens for suggestions on how to name the new elementary school soon to be under construction.
- School administrators plan to ask for suggestions on future school calendars, impacting the start of school date as well as the timing and duration of school breaks during the year.
- Six HSE school administrators will be heading to China this week in an effort to establish sister school arrangements.
- The firm of Miles Herndon has been hired by the board to conduct a branding study for the school corporation and updated the board on their progress. A final recommendation will be submitted soon.
- A classroom discussion at Hoosier Road Elementary School turned into a gigantic project. A tractor-trailer was filled with supplies and other critical items after a massive donation drive. Teachers Bridget Westerfield (first grade), Leslie Fisher (third grade) and Wendi Washburn (fourth grade) along with Assistant Principal Kassy Morales traveled to Houston to meet the truck and help with giving out the donated items. A group of students and staff representing Hoosier Road Elementary briefed the board on their project.