Archive for Sunday, April 29, 1990

LOCAL DISTRICT WOULD BENEFIT UNDER STALLED SCHOOL AID PLAN

April 29, 1990

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A Lawrence public school administrator liked the looks of a compromise school finance package that stalled in the Senate Saturday after a dispute about lids on school district budget increases.

The plan, which faced an uncertain fate Saturday night when the Legislature adjourned until Monday, would provide the local school district with an increase of $592,288 in state aid and raise the mill levy by about 1.69 mills. A mill is $1 of taxation for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The dispute did not involve the level of funding for the state's 304 school districts.

The Senate and House had compromised to create a plan different from past school finance bills in that it would distribute state money based on the district's total enrollment instead of its relative wealth compared to other districts.

Kenneth Fisher, assistant superintendent for business and facilities, said the plan would have a positive effect on the school district.

"Because we're a growing community, we'll have more students next year," he said. "For Lawrence, it's very good in the idea that we could have lost $2.7 million had the law stayed the way it was."

It's impossible to determine the effect of the plan's mill levy increase on individual homeowners until the school board takes other issues into consideration, Fisher said.

"From the state's point of view and making a whole bunch of assumptions, it would go up 1.69. That's not really a good indication. We need to look at the budget and see what will happen," he said.

Fisher said the legislature devised the plan to account for problems with property reappraisal.

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