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District officials plan 2016-17 budget

February 29, 2016

As the budget development process begins in earnest, school district leaders are currently planning for a $550,756 budget gap, which they hope they will be able to close through additional state aid and cost-saving measures, as opposed to further elimination of staff or programs.

“Over the past five years, our budget-to-budget increase has been about 1.26 percent per year, with an average tax levy increase of 2.76 percent each year.  This year, however, the state-imposed tax levy cap will limit local revenue to a 1.4 percent increase in our tax levy,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton, Ed.D. “Our goal is to preserve the quality of programs and services that are available to all of our students by improving our efficiencies and the use of innovative, cost-saving practices.”

Next year’s expenditures are anticipated to be approximately $56.6 million, up 2.93 percent from the current year’s $55,031,681 budget.

The district is waiting for approximately $450,000 in aid as part of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). Receiving some of that money back would be a help to the bottom line for next year, Patton said. The district does not anticipate asking voters to approve a tax levy increase beyond the 1.4 percent allowed through the state formula.

Administrators are anticipating increases in health insurance. However, state pension contribution rates are projected to decrease, and the district will see some financial benefit from the retirement of six staff members. (Five of these individuals will retire in June 2016, and one in December 2016.) District officials anticipate adding one elementary section to accommodate an increase in enrollment and to maintain class size.

The board of education will continue to discuss the budget at a workshop meeting on Feb. 29, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in the High School library.  A second budget workshop is scheduled for Monday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the High School LGI. For more information about the budget development process, please visit

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