Greenfield - Residents at the Whitnall School District annual meeting on Monday approved a $15.5 million zero-increase property tax levy for the current 2012-13 school year.
The School Board consciously decided to keep the levy at zero to provide property tax relief to district residents, said Douglas Johnson, business manager.
Total proposed spending this year will be nearly $30.3 million, significantly down from last year's $49 million - a number that was extraordinarily high because the schools were paying off much of their debt.
The 2012-13 operating budget is $23.7 million.
The number of teachers and aides wouldn't be reduced under the proposed budget and class sizes remain about the same as last year.
Raises of 2 percent were built into the budget, but actual raises will have to be negotiated. Last year, employees got pay raises of 1.5 percent.
Health insurance costs have not gone up, so premiums will be the same as last year. That was achieved by making small changes in the policy, such as drug co-pays increasing about $5. But deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs remain the same.
Paying off the big chunk of debt dropped the district's fund balance from $10.9 million in 2010-11 to an expected $5.9 million (pending final accounting numbers) at the end of last year.
Doug Johnson, business manager, said the new fund balance is still more than 22 percent of the district's operating budget, close to 25 percent level the School Board wants and well above the administrative policy level of 15 percent.
Johnson should find out in mid-October whether the $5.9 million will be enough to enable the district to avoid short-term borrowing to keep the schools running until taxes come in January. Many other school districts have to short-term borrow, but that was never an issue for Whitnall with its larger $10.9 million fund balance.
- Jane Ford-Stewart
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Greenfield council approves 2015 budget after no one speaks at hearing
- Video: Verlo stack of 18 mattresses declared a world record by Guinness
- Verlo customers can use beacon iPad to find products
- Low registrations cause drug, alcohol program postponement at Whitnall
- Charity maintains 'legend' of former Whitnall student
- Greenfield crosses big Loomis threshold with chosen developer
- Greenfield tries enhancing safety in 2015 city budget
- Greenfield police report: Nov. 13, 2014 issue
- Greenfield police notes: Nov. 13, 2014 issue
- Greenfield ups emergency preparedness