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KPCW, May 17, 2021--Voted Leeway Planned for South Summit School District November Election...This time of the year, school districts across the state form budgets for the next school year, and the South Summit School District will review the projections in their June meeting. They're also anticipating a voted leeway for November's ballot.

The Voted Leeway Program is a property tax levy authorized to cover a portion of the costs of operation and maintenance in a school district. The property tax levy requires a majority vote by the school district electorate.

South Summit School District Interim Superintendent Steve Hirasi said they are not considering tax increases right now. 

 "We are just in the process of finalizing our budget in our June board meeting, and we'll be presenting the budget to our board for their approval. We're not talking about any tax increases, although we may go to our public our November election for a voted leeway. And what we'd like to do is focus the money that that would raise on Technology." 

 Hirase said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they had to transition to one-to-one computer learning. 

 "And so we have about somewhere in the neighborhood of 2020 to 2300 machines out there, and we really only have one technology person to support that, that person and so we're in the process of hiring one additional technology person, and then what we'd like to do is go to a voted leeway where we can maybe hire a couple of other lower-level techs that can spend more time in the building troubleshooting issues so that the teachers don't have to do that and they can focus on their jobs." 

 Hirase said finding teachers who can afford to live in the community is difficult. Average new home prices in the area are about $500,000. He said they’re working with some of the mayors as they explore housing strategies to attract teachers to the district. 

 With six schools and 1,713 students, the district is overcapacity. The current needs are being met with capital funds to upgrade security measures and provide modular space. 

 He said a bond election would be needed, and the new Superintendent, Greg Maughan, and the school board would address the master plan and future facility needs of the district. 

 “Sure, we'll need a bond election. And I'll be speaking with the new superintendent about kind of what the growth projections are, what some options are going to be, and the district does have a master plan for building. And so, we'll be sharing information regarding that. The new housing, the price of new housing is fairly high, and it's going to be difficult for you know, a teacher coming in on a new teacher salary to be able to find housing. 

 The South Summit School Board meets June 10 at 5:30 P.M. in the school district offices at 285 East 400 South in Kamas.