Marion Center high school sign

MARION CENTER — The Marion Center school board approved a 2019-20 general fund budget Monday night and hired three new special education teachers for the elementary school.

The $25,570,938 budget includes an increase of 0.044 mills (.382 percent), bringing the total tax rate to 11.5474 mills.

Business Manager Richard Martini said the annual increase to taxpayers in the district would be $5.90 per year.

The earned income tax rate is 0.85 percent and real estate transfer tax 0.50 percent.

Meanwhile, the board approved the hiring of special education teachers Robyn Globun ($50,636 annual salary), Lauren Ashurst ($50,611) and Kara Smith ($49,155).

Amy Gaston, director of education, said Globun was a long-term substitute at Marion Center; Ashurst was seventh-grade reading teacher at Hollidaysburg Area School District in Blair County and Smith was a long-term reading sub in the Butler Area School District.

Gaston said the openings were created when a special education teacher retired, another moved into a coaching position and one shifted to a regular teaching position.

She said Marion Center will now have 16 special education teachers in the district.

In other news, the board:

• Approved supplemental band contracts of assistant director for Luke Hamilton and Craig Fry at a salary of $2,284 each.

• Signed off on a partnership with PA-Educator.net for a fee of $1,750; and agreed to participate in the ARIN IU 28 guest teacher consortium at a cost of $400.

• Hired Stephanie Lamantia to provide speech therapy for the summer at a contracted hourly rate.

• Granted tenure to teachers Jaclyn Bottles and Amy Oplinger.

• Added Patty Grant to the elementary volunteer list and Tammy Buchsbaum to the high school volunteer list.

• Approved the 2019 Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion and installment payment of school real property taxes.