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Bismarck School District taxes likely to increase

BISMARCK – The Bismarck School Board set 7 p.m. Aug. 18 as the time and date for the tax rate hearing during its monthly meeting on Thursday. Bismarck Superintendent Dr. Damon Gamble said that the district will most likely be raising its tax levy.

“Currently, our operating levy is at $3.10,” Gamble said. “Under the new formula it will be to our benefit to increase this by some amount. I suspect it will take an increase of approximately 20 cents in order to see the full benefits of the new funding formula.”

The district is allowed to raise its tax rate by a certain percentage without asking voters to approve it.

In other matters the board approved the district’s school instructional climate plan.

“This has do with improvements to our facilities, disciplinary experiences and employee benefits,” Gamble said.

The board also approved raising the mileage reimbursement rate for staff members from 30 cents a mile to 40 cents a mile.

“This was necessary because of the increase in gas prices,” Gamble said. “I hate to think that a staff member would be burdened with the cost of traveling for district purposes.”

During Gamble’s report to the board he discussed the 21st Century Community Learning Grant.

“This is our third year for the grant and we have been approved for $230,000,” Gamble said.

Gamble also discussed plans for the proposed construction of a new gymnasium.

“I showed the board an architectural drawing I have of the new gymnasium,” Gamble said. “We are looking at putting a bond issued on the April 2006 ballot for the construction costs of the new facility. We want to start getting the word out to the community about the new gymnasium.”

Gamble also discussed the Reading First Program with the board.

“We have received final approval for this $231,000 grant program,” Gamble said. “This is part of No Child Left Behind. Basically, it is geared towards improving the reading skills of students in kindergarten through third grade.”

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