Message from the School Board on the Supplemental Levy
As you may have read previously in the paper, we, as your School Board, originally proposed a supplemental levy of $233,000 for the coming school year, which was a slight increase over last year. However, our Superintendent (Stan Kress) and Clerk (Denise Uhlenkott) brought us back some good news from the Budget meeting held by The State Department of Education. We found our school district would be receiving approximately $35,000 more from the State than was previously expected. This money is coming from an appropriation, phasing out the Ag Equipment tax replacement funds rather than stopping them all at once and leaving us with another unfunded mandate. Within the next four years these funds will be phased out, however. These funds for next year plus some new monies for textbooks, will allow us to reduce the levy request to $198,000, the lowest amount requested since 2001.
In addition, it is necessary to reduce staff again this year. We will have one less teacher and one less teacherís aide next year, once again due to smaller enrollments, which will ultimately affect our State reimbursement. The entering kindergarten classes continue to be smaller than our graduating classes, creating a declining student enrollment. In our estimation this next year, for the first time in many years, we will only have enough students to justify one kindergarten group, rather than two.
As stewards of your tax dollars we watch as closely as possible for areas to save money. As in this case, with the help of our Superintendent and Clerk, we are able to reduce the supplemental request by $35,000. Our property taxes will be reduced significantly, due to replacing the 3 mill levy for the schools with sales tax funds. We, as patrons, will now be paying only 36% of what we previously paid in property taxes that went to the schools. It is also a reduction of 5.5 %, in what we paid last year on the Supplemental Levy. This is, of course, good news for us as property taxpayers. It is yet to be determined, how it will affect our schools.
Our student test scores show we have one of the finest school districts in the State of Idaho and the Nation. We are very proud of our teachers, staff and administration and we hope to continually get better and not backslide. Our children are too important to allow that to happen. Your continued support of our efforts is appreciated.
Your School Board,
Roy Schumacher, Chairman
Kellie Bruner, Vice-Chair