Prairie Hills USD No. 113: School Board okays $16.8 million budget

A $16.8 million budget — which includes $5,195,177 in local property taxes — was approved at a special meeting Monday evening Aug. 28, by the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education.

Estimated mill levies across the district range from 47.961 in the former USD No. 441 to 48.54 in the former USD No. 488. Due to the consolidation, the mill levy is dependent on location, as each former portion of the consolidated district pays its own bond and interest mill levy. Both are slight increases from the previous fiscal year.

The base levy includes 20 mills for the general fund, 17.208 mills for the supplemental general fund and 5.2 mills for the capital outlay fund. The bond and interest mill levy within the boundaries of the former USD No. 488 is 6.132, while the bond and interest mill levy within the boundaries of the former USD No. 441 is 5.553.

Valuation in the district is expected to increase about $9 million within the district’s boundaries, which includes portions of four counties — Nemaha, Brown, Jackson and Marshall counties.

This approved $16,762,108 budget is the district’s “budget authority,” pointed out Superintendent Todd Evans, who said the district does not expect to spend the total amount. In 2016-17, the district’s budget authority was $16.8 million, but the actual budget was only $15.5 million. After $2.7 million in transfers, the district actually only spent $14.1 million.

Superintendent Evans pointed out a few budget notes to the board.

After two years under the Block Grant, schools in Kansas are under a school finance formula again. State Foundation Aid starts with a base of $4,006 per Full Time Equivalency (FTE). Added to that base are a number of weightings, including but not limited to At Risk, Low Enrollment and — new this year — High Density At Risk, which the district will receive for Wetmore.

District enrollment is down, but new this year kindergarten students are counted as one FTE instead of half, Evans said. Without that kindergarten change, the district “would feel it [enrollment drop] significantly” in the budget.

Also at the meeting:

The board discussed the district’s 2016-18 Strategic Plan, which is a working document for the board. District administration made a few suggestions to the document, as did board members.

Changes to the document, per discussion, will be made and presented to the board at the September meeting.

One main change will be to add an “evidence” column to the entire document so that board members can note when information pertaining to the target area and action step is presented to them.

Another item of note, though not necessarily a change, is to stress the importance of an updated and professional district website with fully updated teacher profiles and contact information. Board members agreed that the website should take precedence over social media presence.

The board’s next regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at the district office in Sabetha.

Amber Deters122 Posts

Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.


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