HG School Board approves $11.27m estimated budget for 2017-18

by Steve Ottman
Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE.The numbers are all up in the tentative 2017-18 district budget approved by the Howards Grove School Board at their monthly meeting Monday, Aug. 21.

The estimated budget calls for total spending of $11,270,535, an increase of 5.8 percent from the previous school year.

The state aid numbers are estimated at $4,716,720, a decrease of 2.95 percent from last year, although the final state budget has yet to be adopted.

The total tax levy proposal of $4,288,328 is an increase of $234,746 from last year or an increase of 5.8 percent.

The proposed mill rate is $9.49 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is an increase of $0.52 or 5.8 percent. If equalized property values increase, this would mean a lower mill rate. School taxes paid on a $100,000 home would be estimated at $949.

The estimated total student numbers for three years is 839 students while the count in the third week in September is estimated to be 825 students. The school will use a declining enrollment exemption of $78,825, plus prior year open enrollment of $23,432 and private school voucher of $24,000 toward the revenue cap limit.

This would project as a revenue cap of $8,393,058 including exemptions, which is an increase of $15,942 or a .001 percent increase. The estimated base revenue per member is $9,853.16 with an estimate increase of $200 per pupil.

The fund balance designation was approved for $285,000. Money will be designated for curriculum ($25,000), Fund 46 ($50,000), facilities ($150,000), technology ($50,000) and career and tech ed ($10,000).

Fund raising activities for Northview and the middle school for the 2017-18 school year were approved. Northview fundraisers included the Scholastic Book Fair, soup can labels, box tops, Target store donations and old cell phone collections. The middle school will have the Scholastic Book Fair, Target store donations, car washes and candy bar sales.

A teaching contract was approved for high school physical education teacher Mark Maranell. Maranell will also coach track and be an assistant football coach.

Board members approved the section of the state statutes to adopt Common Core academic standards for the 2017- 2018 school year.

The board also directed and authorized the administration to take necessary action to incorporate the board-approved academic standards for the 2017-2018 school year and to issue a notice to parents/ guardians that this is consistent with state requirements.

“We exceed most of the academic standards required by the state,” said Superintendent Chris Peterson.

This action is required every year and a significant amount of time is spent by the school getting the curriculum to match the academic standards required by the state.

Peterson gave an update on the auditorium and said everything is on schedule. The final approval on cast walls has been scheduled for Sept. 6. Peterson estimated that seven to eight walls could be erected per day.

Plumbing and electrical work is underway and the sump pump and water tank work has begun.

The orchestra pit has started evolving inside and the traffic flow has been set up outside. Peterson thanked High School principal Scott Fritz for his help.

Financial secretary Dawn Laboy discussed the 2016-2017 budget numbers with the board and said that the year was basically flat, with many budget items coming in as projected.

Board President Kim Plass thanked the Howards Grove Athletic Club for a donation towards the high school band participation in the Silver Dollar Parade.

The PTO donated money to cover busing costs for field trips in May.

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