School board approves a 13% levy increase

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 9/29/98.

The Paynesville Area School Board approved a 13.8 percent levy increase at their meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell informed the board there were several factors taken into consideration. Factors considered were smaller school enrollment, decrease in state aid, cost of school cooperatives increasing, and needed purchases for the school in the health and safety program.

ďI wish I could do something about the figures,Ē Caldwell said. ďThe state keeps changing the calculations each year. The Community Service fund will see a drastic decrease. The district will be able to levy less as weíll receive more state aid in that area.Ē

ďItís going to cost the taxpayers more money to run the school,Ē Caldwell added. ďThe debt service fund will see a 14 percent increase as the combination of local levy and net tax capacity rate will affect the amount we receive from the state. The state sets the figures and the district has no control over the funding.Ē

ďThe new excess levy referendum funds do not take effect until next year, 1999-2000. The district will receive $454,648. Under the old referendum, the district received only $364,000.

HACA stands for Homestead and Ag Credit Aid. The state provides the districts funds to offset the taxes within the school district.

The school districtís Truth in Taxation hearing on the levy is set for Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in the elementary school media center. The formal adoption of the levy will take place at the boardís second meeting in December (Dec. 22).

In other business:
ēThe board approved updating the districtís driving and parking regulations. This gives the Paynesville Police Department authority on school grounds.

ēThe board approved the family and medical leave policy to accommodate the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1995.

ēThe board approved using compensatory revenue funds to hire a paraprofessional to work with three Spanish speaking students in the district. Claudia Fletcher, Belgrade, and Lou Louis have been working with the students to learn English.

ēThe board approved an agreement to participate with the Stearns County Family Service Collaborative. Through the collaborative, the district has been able to utilize the services of a part-time therapist from the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center.

ēThe board approved hiring Rhonda Adams and Trudy Gorton, to work as instructional assistants in the ECFE Learning Readiness Program.

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