USD 490 will not see much on an increase in funding

If Gov. Sam Brownback signs into law the recent school funding bill, USD 490 will not see much on an increase in funding.
During the School Board meeting Monday, Norm Wilks, director of fiscal services, talked about the legislature’s actions in addressing the Supreme Court’s direction to fund what is the state’s obligation with local option budgets and capital outlay.
He said the intent was to equalize funding based on ability to raise local property tax.
“They did put additional money into our LOB, which most of the money will pass through our budget and instead of receiving local tax dollars we will receive state dollars,” Wilks explained.
It doesn’t change the district’s authority to spend money, but rather where they get it.
Wilks said the legislature also addressed some policy issues in the bill.
One thing addressed was the issue with tenure, making tenure for teachers similar to the due process procedures for administrators.
“One of the key points I think once they started talking about funding was removal of a lot of virtual weights and new facility weights and removal of a number of the at-risk weights that all ended up reducing funding available for us.”
With these changes, the district will see about a $14 per pupil increase next year, but they will lose weights for all part-time students at-risk and students over 19 who qualify for free and reduced lunches. It also eliminates non-proficient at-risk weighting.
Wilks said it did increase the opportunity for the LOB, which will generate about $45,000 in additional LOB money.
“When we look at the net result we will be up about $12,000,”he said. “Capital outlay will generate about $13,000 and when you take the weights out and look at LOB, we are probably going to be in the neighborhood of about an $18,000 increase there. There really isn’t any significant increase in terms of operating money for the district. The major portion is all property tax relief through the LOB.”
Julie Clements can be reached at