The USD 382 Board of Education approved a resolution Monday that would allow them to levy up to 8 mils in a capital outlay fund to purchase and maintain property. The district currently levies 4 mils.
Superintendent Suzan Patton recommended that the board take advantage of changes made by recent school funding legislation that provide greater flexibility in the way the money can be used. The new law allows additional uses for capital outlay funds, including for maintenance of equipment and property, salaries of custodial staff, computer software and performance uniforms.
The resolution calls for authorization of a continuous and permanent annual levy, not for a prescribed number of years, as with the current levy.
Without the resolution, the district would be bound by allowable uses under the old levy, finance director Glen Davis said.
The increased authority does not mean that the board will automatically increase the levy.
When the 2014-15 budget is prepared in August, the board can decide how much to levy, up to 8 mils. Davis said the new regulations would help level out the money available. If the local option budget or bond and interest funds are dropping, the capital outlay levy could be picked up.
“Patrons don’t like the spikes; they don’t remember the drops,” Davis said.
At the April meeting of the board, Davis said the new funding legislation restores state aid to capital outlay funds for poorer districts, and would result in an overall drop in Pratt’s mil levy of 2.25 mils.
The resolution becomes effective after publication, unless at least 10 percent of qualified electors in the district sign a petition, requiring the matter to go to a vote of district residents.
Patton provided a lengthy list of summer maintenance projects she said would be prioritized by the June meeting, and discussed transportation needs, including bus repair and maintenance.
The board approved a new K-4 math series at a cost of $51,423.
The decision on a roofing bid for Liberty Middle School was postponed because of discrepancies in square footage by competing bidders.
The board approved republishing the current budget to take advantage of an additional $94,799 in state funds resulting from the annual state enrollment audit.