Baldwin City school district 2018-2019 budget would decrease local tax rate

The Baldwin City school board will consider approving later this month a 2018-2019 budget that will reduce the district property tax rate by 4 mills.

Last week, the board approved publication of the proposed $24.1 million budget. If approved after an Aug. 20 public hearing on the budget, the district’s 2018-2019 mill levy will be 59.671 mills. At that rate, the district’s share of taxes on a $175,000 home would be $1,154.

Superintendent Paul Dorathy said the district will get more than $600,000 this school year from the new K-12 school finance formula the Kansas legislature approved last spring. In June, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the new formula failed to adequately fund K-12 education as the state constitution mandates, but agreed the legislature could address the shortfall during its 2019 session.

The school board used additional money it received from the new formula to hire two new social workers and a district curriculum director, Dorathy said. One of the social workers will work with elementary-level students and the other with junior and high school students, he said.

Some of the new dollars will be used to provide raises to district teachers, Dorathy said. The district and the teachers’ union are currently negotiating the 2018-2019 contract for certified staff, he said.

Cynde Frick, district financial director, said two things contributed to overall district mill rate decrease. The district reduced the mill levy in support of its bond-and-interest fund by 2.02 mills with the retirement of a bond issue, she said. The mill levy support for the district’s local option budget also decreased by nearly 2 mills because of changes in the new state funding formula.

The Eudora school board will consider publication of its 2018-2019 budget at a meeting Thursday. Eudora school district officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for information about the district’s proposed budget.


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