Proposed school tax levy rises 6.3 percent

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/1/96.

The Paynesville School Board reviewed the proposed tax levy for 1997 at their Tuesday night meeting. Superintendent Howard Caldwell presented the board with the comparisons between the 1995-96 and the 1996-97 tax levys.

The tax levy will not be formally finalized and adopted until after the Truth and Taxation hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The formal adoption will take place at the Dec. 17 meeting.

The levy certification for 1996 payable 1997 is as follows:
General: $1,428,348.52 +6.80%
Community education: $57,901.13 +13.05
Debt service: $502,472.43 +4.31
Totals: $1,987,721.08 +6.03

Starting with the 1996-97 school year, the districtâs capital expenditure and transportation fund have been merged with the general fund. Areas for specific needs like community expenditures and transportation are kept in a special fund within the general fund at the local level to give the board a better idea where the fund balance sits

Caldwell explained to the board the fund balance of $1,397,930 is an estimate for the end of the 1996-97 school year. The maximum amount the school can have before being penalized by the state for having too much money is estimated at $1,441,251.

Seven years ago, the district was over $450,000 in debt.

ãWe have worked hard to get where we are today and are now able to provide additional programming for teachers and students,ä Howard Caldwell, superintendent, said. ãWe are hoping to expand several programs in the areas of technology and foreign language.ä

Elementary Principal Gary Heineman explained the Standards of Excellence program the elementary school will be undertaking this year. The school staff will focus on seven different areas: organization, leadership, curriculum, instruction, human resource development, school climate and evaluation and assessment.

ãWe will be looking at how we function and interact with each other and the students. The program will help us upgrade and improve upon what we donât like in the system,ä he added. To date, about 60 schools in the state have completed the program.

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