The annual meeting of the School District of Manawa will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, in the “new” elementary school commons.
The school district has been working very hard to show the citizens it is being a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
The district ended the 2009-10 fiscal year with a fund balance of $1,425,051. The fund balance increased by $534,344 from the previous year.
The mild winter weather enabled the district to come in under budget by $40,000 on utilities and $20,000 for snow plowing. Bus fuel came in $13,000 less due to lower-than-projected diesel prices. Other areas, such as maintenance, came in $15,000 less than anticipated.
Also contributing to the increase is the lack of a final 2009-11 teaching contract before this year’s budget is finalized in October. As a result, that expense will come out of next year’s budget.
The Board of Education’s policy goal for the fund balance is 15 percent of the annual budget. The current fund balance represents 14.97 percent of the budget.
The general fund expenses are increasing by $475,000 or 5.42 percent. These increases are due to three factors:
?Planned major renovation of the air handling system at the high school.
?Increased special education costs the district must cover due to the expiration of federal stimulus grants that paid these costs the past two years.
?A larger projected number of students open enrolling out of the district – final numbers won’t be known until school starts.
Salaries and benefits are the largest expenses within the budget – consisting of 78 percent of the overall budget.
The overall general fund revenues – money that is given to the district by local taxpayers, Wisconsin and the federal government – compared to last year are projected to be $20,982 less than the previous year. This is mainly due to declining enrollment that affects the district’s revenue limit.
The tax levy is estimated to increase by $1.80 per $1,000 of equalized value to $11.54, which is the overall tax levy. The district will know the actual tax levy at the October board meeting.
Some of the reasons for the tax levy increase are the total district equalized value decreased by $1,800,000, the way the stimulus money was given to the district is having a negative effect on the tax levy, and the state is decreasing the amount of aid it is giving to districts.
It is important to note that the $11.54 does not include the levy tax credit that is given out in November and applied by the municipalities, which historically has reduced the levy approximately $1.