USD 402 BOE approves budget

Augusta USD 402 Board of Education members approved (6-0) the proposed 2014-15 budget at last night’s BOE meeting.  Board member Andy Hall was absent.
The approved budget will decrease the district’s mill levy by 1 mill.  The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.  A mill is $1 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
Superintendent John Black explained that the main reason for the decrease is a Kansas Supreme Court decision and subsequent legislation that was passed earlier this year.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruling found state funding had failed to provide equity in public education in some areas.  The resulting school finance law increased the amount the state contributes to Local Option Budgets and capital outlay funding for school districts.
Other key points of the budget include:
• The district’s assessed value is estimated to increase 2.45 percent.
• Supplemental General (LOB) mill levy decreased due to state aid being funded at 100 percent.
• Capital Outlay mill levy increased to 6 mills to allow for new statutory uses of these funds.
• Bond and Interest levy is increasing to strengthen the fund balance to protect against valuation and state aid volatility over the remaining term of the bonds.
• Special Assessments mill levy assessed to cover the remaining balance owed.
Superintendent Black thanked the Fiscal Committee for the significant amount of time and guidance through the process before the proposed budget was brought to the board last month.
The budget information was published in the newspaper along with notice of the budget hearing.  Black advised that no one in the community contacted his office with any concerns or objections.

Coverage of Monday night’s BOE meeting will be continued in Thursday’s edition.