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Hearing on proposed $23.3 million school budget attracts crowd

HEATHSVILLE—It was a packed house on Thursday, May 4, as the Northumberland board of supervisors held a public hearing on the proposed $23,331,811 school budget, an increase of $2,419,921 (11.57%) over the current budget.

Previously, superintendent Dr. Holly Wargo said the increase was necessary to provide all staff with a 5% raise, plus a 1.25% step at a cost of $1,033,729; cover a 9.9% increase in health insurance premiums at a cost of $219,696; provide health insurance and benefits for bus drivers at a cost of $368,476; and hire three security officers, a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist at a cost of $361,774.

County taxpayers would be responsible for much of that increase as local funding is projected to be $15,642,818, an increase of $2,343,082 over the current budget.

Many Northumberland school employees spoke in favor of the budget as recommended by the school board. Amy Fetter said she had been “pushing for a couple of months with other bus drivers” to get benefits….

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