Archive for Wednesday, June 26, 2002

State misses another payment to Tonganoxie school district

June 26, 2002

The state's school aid checks are late, but Tonganoxie school superintendent Richard Erickson isn't worried at least not yet.

In his 16 years as a school superintendent in Kansas, this is the first year Erickson has had to be a watchdog for state funds.

"It certainly presents some new challenges," Erickson said. "I think we'll be OK as long as the state is able to provide the state aid that they promised. With the deficits that they're facing right now, that creates some uncertainty as to whether they'll be able to fulfill the commitment of $20 per pupil that they approved for next year."

Of the $470,000 state aid payment due in June, as of last Friday only half that, or $235,000 had been deposited in the district's account, Erickson said.

"Usually it comes by the 20th of June," he added.

In August, school board members will vote on the school year's local option budget, a locally levied tax that school districts are able to approve. The total tax levy can be no higher than 25 percent of the district's general fund.

Last year, Tonganoxie's LOB, set at 21.1 percent, generated $1,494,541 for the district. Erickson said it's likely the LOB for the upcoming school year, which hasn't been decided yet, will generate about $150,000 more than last year, or about $1,640,000.

The expected boost in the LOB, Erickson said, is because the Legislature decided that special education funding can be counted as a part of a district's general fund budget. In Tonganoxie, that means the general fund will be tallied as $800,000 higher the amount that will go to the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative for the Tonganoxie school district. This will mean a gain in LOB funds for school districts across the state.

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