Additional state aid drops school levy by 42 cents
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Property owners in the Mt. Pleasant Community School District will be paying 42 cents less per $1,000 taxable valuation due to action the final week of the Iowa legislative session.
That’s because the Legislature granted state school districts 2 percent allowable growth for the fiscal 2014 budget year. Consequently, Mt. Pleasant’s tax levy will drop to $13.87 per $1,000 taxable valuation. The levy during fiscal 2013 was $14.29 per $1,000 taxable valuation.
Although that translates into roughly $240,000 in increased state aid (the state will give districts $6,121 per student in fiscal 2014 and Mt. Pleasant has around 1,975 students), the district will also lose $216,293 in the budget guarantee.
The budget guarantee provides school districts with declining enrollment the same amount of state aid as they received during the past budget year. However, an increase in allowable growth negates the budget guarantee.
With the increase in state aid and the loss of the budget guarantee, Mt. Pleasant will see a net gain of around $23,700.
School districts also will be receiving a one-time 2 percent payment in fiscal 2014 from the state. The 2 percent is figured on regular program cost and will place an additional $266,459 in Mt. Pleasant’s bank account.
The state legislature also set fiscal 2015 allowable growth at 4 percent. That will boost Mt. Pleasant’s “new money” by close to $500,000 for the 2015 budget.
In personnel matters, the district filled three varsity head coaching slots. Jeff Schulz will be head volleyball coach, Mitch Anderson head boys’ track coach and Brennan Williams, head girls’ soccer coach.
Contracts were also approved for: Jordan Bell, assistant boys’ soccer coach; Megan Menke, Lincoln Elementary kindergarten teacher; Curtis Bjork, middle-school math; Scott Stribe, high school social studies; Angie Rodgers, high school special education; Tina Myers, Harlan Elementary one-on-one para-professional (4.5 hours/day); Rebecca Andrew and Ann Menke, Van Allen Elementary one-on-one para-professionals.
Resignations were accepted from: Kathryn Smith, Salem Elementary one-on-one para-professional; Linda Krehbiel, middle-school math; Melanie Clark and Mandra Riley, Van Allen Elementary one-on-one para-professionals; Marcia Buffington, food service; Cadey Merschman, high school one-on-one para-professional; and Jane Dochterman and Sheryl Heater, Harlan Elementary one-on-one para-professionals.