Tonganoxie USD 464 board approves plan to increase mill levy
Rate would go up about 2 mills
The Tonganoxie USD 464 school board plans to increase the tax rate by about 2 mills for 2015-16.
The board approved Superintendent Lyn Rantz’s budget proposal at Monday’s special meeting.
If it gets final approval later this month, it would carry a mill rate of 60.4. That’s up from 58.443 in 2014-15.
A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in residential property valuation.
Various factors played into the proposal, including debt service with the new Tonganoxie Elementary School and the new block grant funding from the state.
Rantz said Monday that early enrollment showed the district had 45 new elementary school students and 16 new middle school students. She said she had not yet heard from the high school of new enrollment numbers.
“It’s always a guessing game,” Rantz said.
With the state’s previous funding formula, the district would be receiving additional state aid for new students. With block funding, that won’t be the case, Rantz said.
However, with the new funding formula, districts can apply for extraordinary need state aid. Rantz said she planned to apply for that aid based on the district’s anticipated increased enrollment.
Board Members Bryan Kemp and Amelia Brusven were absent from Monday’s meeting.
Kris Grinter was not in attendance for the meeting, but called in for the votes at the end of the meeting.
The board approved the budget, 5-0.
The budget will be published in The Mirror, and a public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Chieftain Room on the Tonganoxie High School campus.
Hires, new position OK’d
The board approved more work agreements for the 2015-16 school year by a 5-0 vote. Staff hired for the new school year were Courtney Wiehe, THS special education para-educator, replacing Carter Gish; Kate Dailey, TMS special education para-educator, replacing Sue Eberth; Pat Downing, THS special education para-educator, replacing Becca Wolfe; Preston Troyer, THS business teacher, increasing from 0.5 full-time equivalent to 1 full-time equivalent, replacing David Walker; and Keaton Schaffer, THS freshman boys basketball assistant coach, replacing Keith Miller.
The board also approved an additional full-time maintenance position.
Insurance package approved
The board approved student accident insurance for 2015-16 by a 4-1 vote with Board Member Kaija Baldock casting the dissenting vote.
The insurance costs the district $13,450. It helps cover Kansas State High School Activities Association injuries for grades 7-12 up to $5,000, mid-catastrophic activities with supplemental coverage, all pupil activities K-12 and mid-catastrophic supplemental coverage for all students.
Rantz said Kansas Association of School Boards recommends the coverage. Baldock was in favor of eliminating the coverage at the last board meeting as a cost-saving tool. She said Monday she didn’t vote in favor of the coverage because it doesn’t impact student achievement.