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LEBANON — The Lebanon Community School District plans to add a few teaching positions, start a middle school basketball team and provide extra support for music next year.

That's the message Superintendent Rob Hess gave the district's budget committee Thursday in his 2018-19 budget proposal.

Hess said the coming budget year finds the district "in a good place to invest," with a higher-than-expected State School Fund plus growing enrollment. 

The result: a proposed general fund of $45,068,000, up from the current adopted budget of $42,129,000.

The budget committee's next meeting is April 26, with a planned approval date of May 10. The Lebanon School Board will take up the budget for adoption on June 14, and a public hearing is scheduled that night.

Hess' budget calls for full-time-equivalent teaching positions to go up by a little more than eight, with extra staffing planned for elementary music, among other areas.

An additional administrator is planned for alternative education, and a management position is planned for the district's transportation department.

The budget sets aside $400,000 for new social studies curriculum, $40,000 in continued support for the high school's house construction program and $50,000 for new classroom furniture for the sixth-grade classrooms expected to be added to Cascades and Green Acres elementary schools this fall.

The athletics fund will receive a $31,000 increase to expand middle school sports to include basketball. 

Building and grounds budgets get a boost under the proposed budget, too. Lebanon still plans to conduct an overall facility assessment and develop a long-range facility plan.

In the meantime, however, the budget calls for $100,000 to be transferred to the Technology Fund to update and increase security cameras, $250,000 in additional funds for the Capital Improvement Fund for roof repairs, and $75,000 to Track & Turf for potential school board support for new artificial turf baseball and softball infields. 

The district will transfer $250,000 to the Public Employees Retirement Fund to help address PERS rate increases for 2019-21. Another $50,000 will be added to the Nutrition Fund to support increased staffing costs and the program that provides free meals to students at qualifying schools.

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