Harrison School Board approves budget, announces fall schedule

HARRISON – The Harrison School Board approved their budget for the 2011-2012 school year Monday night that included small raises for certified employees and teaching staff.

The school district’s budget for this year is nearly $19,000 smaller than last year’s budget, school superintendent Darren Strauch told the board.

The main reason for the decrease in budget is declining enrollment, Strauch said after the meeting.

School budgets are based on the previous year’s enrollment numbers, he said. Last year’s enrollment was 93, down from 108 the year before.

The projected enrollment for Harrison this year will be 94 students, but could go up, he said. Over the past couple of weeks, the school has received several calls from parents asking for enrollment forms.

The value of property within the school district also dropped this past year, Strauch said.

Last year, the taxable valuations in the Harrison School District were $2,171,514. This year taxable valuations are 2,143,576.

This year’s budget also includes a $30,000 general fund levy and a $10,000 building reserve levy, both passed by Harrison voters in June.

The board also approved increases to base salaries of certified employees and teachers of 1.7 percent this year and 1 percent next year.

The board also approved participating in the Montana Small School Alliance to help with their library services and to maintain their school library accreditation. The membership is only $300 a year and will keep their K-8 library accredited with the state, Strauch said.

School will start in Harrison Aug. 24. Fall sports will begin practice on Aug. 15 with about six boys travelling to Whitehall for football and the girl’s volleyball team gearing up for the season. A parent meeting for fall athletes will be Aug. 16 at 7 p.m.

An open house at the school is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m. with a dinner by the Harrison Booster Club at 5:30.

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