Archive for Thursday, August 19, 2004

District counting on kids

Budget reflects conservative estimate of new students

August 19, 2004

As they do every year, school district leaders are hoping they figured the upcoming budget incorrectly. Having to republish the budget the USD 491 Board of Education approved Aug. 12 would mean more students showed up for classes this week than expected.
And that translates into more money for the district.
The approved budget calls for a tax rate of 66.135 mills, a rate up from last year but down slightly from two years ago. The effects of the state's property tax accelerator contributed to the increase. Superintendent Marty Kobza said the district didn't bring last year's 63.956 mill levy lower because property owners would have more acutely felt the spike in this year's rate.
Although the budget approved for the 2004-2005 school year is based on the equivalent of 25 new full-time students joining the district, Kobza said last week the numbers at the district's four attendance centers looked a bit different. He said about 30 new students each had enrolled in three of the buildings, with about 20 new students at Eudora High School.
But those numbers could be misleading, Kobza said, because they didn't account for the number of students leaving the district. Moreover, it wasn't certain last week how many enrolled students would show up for classes.
The numbers also didn't count those enrolled in the Eudora Community Learning Center. Kobza said the district hoped to have at least as many as last year.
"Looking at this, we feel really good about the 25 FTE (full-time equivalency) number, but we're hoping we have to republish," Kobza said. "We're hoping for 30-some."
The official enrollment numbers -- called 30-day numbers -- on which the district could have to republish its budget will come toward the end of September.

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