Archive for Thursday, August 16, 2007

School Board ties up loose ends

2008 budget finalized as classes begin

August 16, 2007

The first day of classes have kicked off, and with that the Lansing School Board has approved the district's 2007-2008 budget that will slightly lower the property tax levy by .359 mills.

The budget for the 2007-2008 school year will set the levy at 49.891 mills, down from last year's 50.25 mills.

Students step off the bus on the first day of classes Wednesday. In a meeting Monday, the Lansing School Board finalized its 2008 budget just in time for the start of the year.

Students step off the bus on the first day of classes Wednesday. In a meeting Monday, the Lansing School Board finalized its 2008 budget just in time for the start of the year.

For the owner of a house valued at $100,000, this means $574 would be paid in property taxes to fund local schools. Last year's property tax value was $578 on a $100,000 house.

A mill is equal to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in property valuation.

The budget originally proposed in July would have lowered the mill levy 1.09 mills. This number was changed when the state department requested the number of non-proficient students be increased from 120 to 261.

This change increased the general fund budget by almost $30,000, which in turn affected the original proposed mill levy.

Despite the change, Superintendent Randal Bagby said he was still happy with the final results. He said his goal was to not increase the mill levy, even if that meant keeping it the same.

While the Lansing school district doesn't have 261 non-proficient students, Bagby said the state department requested the change as a funding mechanism that would give the schools more money to provide help to those students who need it most.

On the state assessment tests, USD 469 achieved a necessary standard of excellence, but Bagby said there were still students who needed extra help and more money would help the schools with that purpose.

To bring the mill levy down after the increase of the non-proficient students, Bagby said he lowered the mill rate of the district's bond and interest payments to 10.872 mills from last year's 12.489 mills.

The final amount for the general fund came out to $12,430,033. This is almost a $600,000 increase from last year's general fund. Of the general fund, taxpayers will contribute about $3.5 million.

In other business Monday, the board:

¢ Heard the annual report from the Lansing Education Foundation Fund. Mary Alice Schroeger reported that the group was working on several projects for the upcoming year including getting a grand piano for the High School auditorium, raising money for playgrounds, a teacher recognition award and the semi-annual gala dinner.

She said they are still working on phase one of the Safe Routes to School project. After completing an extensive safety audit, they've applied for a grant of $220,000 for phase two that will begin building infrastructures and organizing programs.

¢ Closed the Summer School Fund. Bagby said it was no longer needed.

¢ Approved the 2008 spring break High School choir trip to San Francisco. Jonnie Brice said the trip would be available to about 94 students and would allow students to perform for college professors and attend choir clinics.

¢ Approved the bid to replace the Lansing Middle School kitchen roof for $51,237. Dale Bohannon, director of maintenance/capital improvement, said that the number of machines and vents working in the small kitchen has caused damage to the existing floating rubber roof.

¢ Scheduled a joint meeting with the City Council for 6 p.m. Sept. 10 in the middle school choir room.

¢ Appointed Richard Hauver as the board's governmental relations representative for the Kansas Association of School Boards.

¢ Approved an increase of $5 per day of substitute teacher pay.

¢ Approved the following recommendations: Jackie Sells, high school girl's physical education/health teacher and assistant softball coach; Steve Magner, eighth grade assistant football coach; Konstance Jacob, middle school head drama coach; Robert Parsons, middle school assistant boys basketball coach; Rick Hodam, high school assistant football coach; Jared Willis, high school assistant forensics coach and assistant debate coach; Brian Malm, high school assistant track coach and middle school assistant wrestling coach.

¢ Accepted the resignation of board member Robert Nicholas. Nicholas will be leaving to take a job in Portland, Ore. He said he wished he could serve out his elected term but had little choice in the matter.

Board President Shelly Gowdy expressed her gratitude for Nicholas' service and said Nicholas was an outstanding member who brought great things to the board.

The position for the vacant board seat will be advertised in the coming week. There will be a deadline of Sept. 4 for applications.

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