Columbia School District building

The Columbia School District administration building, 200 N. Fifth St., Columbia, shown in August 2013.

When: Columbia school board meeting, Jan. 21.

What happened: Ashley Rizzo was introduced as the new district superintendent, succeeding Thomas Strickler.

Background: The school board had appointed Rizzo in October after deciding not to renew the contract of its former superintendent. Because Strickler was granted a paid administrative leave until his contract expired Dec. 31, Gregory McGough, the district’s curriculum director, served as interim superintendent from Oct. 19 until Dec. 31.

Quotable: “I’m very grateful for the team here, the warm welcome to Columbia Borough School District and the community,” Mercado said.

High school principal: Robert Kedney, a former assistant principal at both Columbia middle and high school, was appointed in September as interim principal at Columbia High School, succeeding Michael Smith, who announced his resignation in August. Kedney will serve as the high school’s permanent principal effective Jan. 25.

Career and tech center: The board approved the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center’s proposed budget for the 2021-22 school year. The district will contribute $419,438, down 14% from the current school year. Under its proposed balanced budget, the CTC projects a $22.79 million spending plan next school year, up 4.4% from this year. A vast majority of the center’s revenue — roughly 68.7% — comprises direct contributions from school districts using its educational services. Overall, 16 districts will contribute more than $14 million to fund the center’s daily operations.

What’s next: The career and tech center’s board will vote to adopt a final budget Feb. 25. Columbia expects to adopt its own proposed final budget in May and a final budget in June.

Tax rebate: Since 2006, the district has offered a rebate program to assist low-income taxpayers that own or occupy a residence and fall under at least one of the following categories: seniors 65 or older, widows 50 or older, or permanently disabled 18 or older. The board has unanimously decided to raise the program’s maximum rebate and extend the household maximum income limit to qualify.

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