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Budget Makes Cents

School Board Reviews Proposed 2012-13 Budget

February 23, 2012
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Presenting a budget asking of some $5.7 million for the 2012-2013 school year, Emmetsburg School Superintendent John Joynt was proud of one important area of the proposed budget.

No debt service levy.

"We're very proud to have a zero levy for debt service," Joynt told the Emmetsburg School board in its meeting on the Feb. 20. "The remaining debt on the new Middle School will be paid off from pledging all of our Local Option Sales Tax receipts along with PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) funds. Not many districts have budgets without some debt service in them."

Joynt went on to highlight several areas for the board members, starting with the district's enrollment, which totals 665.6, based on the October 2011 enrollment count.

"For each student enrolled, we receive $6,124 per student in state aid," Joynt said, "We have a Special Education weighting of 85.71, giving the district a total weighted enrollment of 770.69 students."

Other areas highlighted for the school board included the state's allocation to the district for Teacher Salary Supplement payments totaling $353,440 and Teacher Quality and Iowa Core Staff Development funding of $41,507. Also noted was Kindergarten through third grade Early Intervention funding, totaling $42,176. The district also receives $175,352 for Drop Out prevention efforts.

With those additional funds, the combined district costs for the General Fund will total $5,765,383, the budget total for taxation. To meet the General Fund total, the tax asking for patrons of the Emmetsburg Community School District will rise .29 cents to $12.82046 per $1,000 of valuation.

The district will receive state funding for various levies, such as taxes paid by utilities, as well as State Foundation aid for programs such as Pre-School, and funds generated by individual income tax surcharges.

The budget also will contain a levy of $140,923 to replenish cash reserves spent to cover overspending in the Special Education programs, due to open enrollment of students into and out of the district. Additionally, the district will levy three and a half cents per $1,000 valuation for the Cash Reserve fund of $200,000, which is an annual levy.

In terms of the district's budget authority, or ability to spend funds, Joynt noted that currently, the district has an unspent budget authority of $2,216,102. "That's what we could spend, but understand, it's not cash in hand. With our budget projections, we would have the authority to spend up to $9.4 million next year, but realistically, I expect our total spending to be around $7.4 million."

The district's Physical Plant and Equipment Llevy (PPEL) fund, which is approved by the voters on a regular basis, totals $304,621,793 for the coming year. The maximum amount of PPEL funds required for the Middle School bond, $408,193, will be combined with the Local Option Sales Tax is being used to retire the debt on the middle school, auditorium and gym, giving the district a zero debt service balance.

Other PPEL funds are directed to the management fun, which covers liability insurance and early retirement for staff, and technology costs.

With no questions, Board member Scott Kibbie moved to set 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, in the High School Library, as the time and place for a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year.

The motion was seconded by Board Member Rick Brennan and approved on a 5-0 vote, with board members Tammy Naig and Karla Anderson absent and not voting.



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