The USD 490 Board of Education received an update on some legislative issues that could affect the district during their meeting Monday evening.
One of the main issues involves fixtures and whether they are personal property or not, an issue that arose with the reassessing of the refinery in Coffeyville last year.
Norm Wilks, director of fiscal services, said there was strong support from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce for a bill that takes equipment in factories and makes it personal property so it is exempt from real estate taxes.
If the bill is passed, that would mean a statewide loss of 20 mills for school districts and a loss of about $12.5 million for the state.
He said there has not been any discussion on from where the money to replace that would come.
Locally, Butler County estimates a change of a little more than $74 million for HollyFrontier if the bill was passed. That would be about seven mills for the county and college. USD 490 would see their 20 mills in the general fund collect less money, and while the state should pick up that difference, nothing obligates them to do that.
Wilks said the more complicated issue is what happens to the LOB because state aid for that is to be equalized at the 81st percentile of all the districts in the state.
“It doesn’t seem anything has gotten the attention of legislatures that there is a problem,” he said.
Another legislative issue involved Bill 2027 which was a sub-bill for 2085, a bill that would get rid of collective bargaining.
Superintendent Sue Givens said they were opposed to this change and the effect it would have.
In other business, the board:
• heard from resident Judie Storandt, who founded a program Kids Need to Eat, which would raise awareness about hunger and food insecurities. They partnered with USD 490 and the Food Bank to sponsor summer meals for kids through a program called Summer Lunch Box. This will provide 4,000 free lunches over the summer, including some weekend food packs based on need.
“USD 490 personnel have been really wonderful in dreaming up this program with me and putting it together,” Storandt said. “It’s well known children need access to nutritious foods for body, brains and behavior to develop positively and appropriately.”
• heard an update on Jefferson Elementary. They have 178 students with 75 percent free and reduced lunches. Principal Susan Holthaus said she is working together with Lincoln to link the schools in activities and communication since they are the only two elementary schools not K-5 now.
• decided to hold the site council annual dinner at the April meeting at the new middle school.
Page 2 of 2 - • approved 5-0 (Monty Hughey and Tom Storrer were absent) to republish the budget because of differing weights. There were increased weights because of an increase in students at Extend this year. This will generate approximately $158,000 new money for the general fund. There also were changes for virtual education and special education. A public hearing will be held at the April meeting.
• approved personnel and BCSEC recommendations.