School district talks budget
Supt. James White is anticipating an increase in student enrollment next year, and he is building the 2000-2001 budget around that increase.
White will meet with the Baldwin school board for a special budget meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, at the district office. The meeting is open to the public. A public hearing on the budget is yet to be scheduled. The budget will be published in The Signal at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
"As far as a formal budget document, we haven't quite finished that," White said at Monday night's board meeting. "I'd like to not finish it until after the Aug. 1 vote."
White is planning for an increase of 24 students, which in itself will increase the district's general fund budget. The district receives $3,820 per student from the state, an increase of $50 per student from the 1999-2000 school year.
Based on an enrollment of 1,285 full-time students, the district would receive about $6.4 million from the state for its 2000-2001 general fund budget. The 1999-2000 general fund budget was about $6.2 million. The district's state funding is based on the weighed number of students enrolled on Sept. 20 of each year.
Last year's full-time enrollment was 1,261 students.
"With what I see in houses, and if those houses sell, then we will have a lot of kids," White said of Baldwin's growth, evident in the construction of new homes. "I am only counting on 24."
A state-mandated tax rate of 20 mills will be required for the 2000-2001 general fund budget, the same levy as in 1999-2000. A mill is $1 in property taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation. Property valuation within the district increased nearly $4 million, from $32.3 million in the 1999-2000 budget to nearly $36.3 million for 2000-2001.
White said the district's local option budget will increase from 12 percent of the general fund budget in 1999-2000 to 17 percent in 2000-2001. The LOB is used by Kansas school districts as a supplement to their general fund budgets.
In the spring, the board approved raising the LOB to 25 percent of the general fund budget for 2000-2001. However, a successful petition by community members landed the issue on the upcoming Aug. 1 primary election ballot.
In the meantime, White said the district was able to raise the LOB to the state average of 17 percent, which will generate just over $1 million for the district.
The LOB will be used to fund band instruments, salaries, facility renovations and technology.
Finishing the budget
White, who has more than 16 years of budget experience, is putting the budget together, with the help of district staff. An auditor has been hired to prepare the budget in previous years.
"We had hopes we could have the budget done," he said, referring to Monday's meeting. "In the past, we've have auditors in. It's not an easy task."