Panhandle Passes Tax Levy, Looks At New Opportunities

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Members of the Panhandle Board of Education met on Monday, Nov. 25, passing the 2019 preliminary tax levy and discussing several items.

According to Superintendent Aaron Hopper, the equalized assessed valuation of the district increased by five percent. Hopper said that this year's tax levy would also increase, by less than five percent, which is the threshold for which a truth in taxation hearing is required.

The board also discussed abating taxes for the district, despite having the large scale roof replacement project going on last summer. Hopper said that the district was able to use a portion of the Montgomery County one percent sales tax to help with the costs of that project.

In other business, the district continues to discuss expanding vocational and dual credit options for students, and also their parents. Hopper said that both Lincoln Land and Blackburn are looking at opportunities to help both students and those no longer in the classroom for the betterment of the county and the area. This includes accelerated programs for individuals who may already have a bachelor's degree in another subject.

Hopper said that he is meeting with area superintendents next week to further discuss the possibilities.

The board also discussed the annual school report card, which is available online, and the possibility of a smaller enrollment at Farmersville Grade School next year. Hopper said that the smaller enrollment and some retirements could lead to a reshuffling of resources.

The board would go into closed session from 7:51 to 8:27 p.m., with three motions passed before the end of the meeting. The board accepted the resignation of Michelle St. Clair as cafeteria cook and approved the hiring of Heather Harris for the same position. Also approved was a leave request for teacher Janice Jones.

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