School board holds Truth in Taxation hearing

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/15/98.

Only a handful of people attended the Paynesville Area School District Truth in Taxation Hearing on Tuesday night preceding the regular school board meeting. Normally, nobody from the general public attends the hearing so board members were pleased to see some interest this year.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell explained the factors taken into consideration when setting the levy limitation. This year the district residents will see a 16.78 percent increase in the levy.

ďMany things are established by the state which the district has no control over,Ē Caldwell stressed.

Areas affecting the levy include: pupil units, (1,443.33); basic foundation aide, $3,530 per pupil unit; general fund levy which is based on the 36.58 percent of the 1997 adjusted net tax capacity (ANTC) of the district ($1,163,251); school district cooperative formula $67 times the pupil unit; and basic community education fund levy (.0049 of the 1997 ANTC) which is about $15,580 generated locally.

ďThe formulas are complicated and predetermined by the state,Ē Caldwell added.

ďWe are watching the budget closely, monitoring the various funds. As long as the budget is sound, we will try to accommodate smaller class sizes,Ē Caldwell added. ďIt is critical we provide good quality programming to our students.Ē

Dale Lorenz asked why the school levy increased 16.78 percent while social security increased only 1.3 percent. Board members reminded Lorenz of the funding formulas and how they have very little control over the dollar amount the district receives.

The levy will be determined and certified at the Dec. 22 meeting. The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the middle school media center.

Caldwell is recommending the district levy the maximum level possible, $2,057,896.

In regular school board action:
ē The board approved a compensatory revenue project plan for the high school. About 30 9th and 10th grade students would attend classes from 6 to 7 p.m. to receive extra help in preparing for the graduation standards test. The next test will be given in February. Compensatory revenue is provided by the state to help fund projects for students needing extra help in learning. Ninth grade English teacher Michelle Andersen will teach the classes which begin in January.

ē The board approved a 1998 Goals 2000 application. The dollars are provided to the state through the federal government. If approved, the district would receive about $8,000. The money will be used to provide teachers additional training and experience in developing performance assessment packages for kindergarten through 12th grade students.

ē The board approved a staff development grant for the elementary special education teachers to complete student assessments and to develop appropriate individual educational plans for students identified as needing help.

ē The board approved a contract adjustment for Sue Teicher. Due to an additional special education student, Teicher will be required to work additional time.

ē The board approved a revised job description for the activities/community education coordinator position.

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