More money, no tax hike for 408

Staff writer

Marion-Florence school district patrons have the Kansas Supreme Court to thank for increased 2014-15 funding without increased taxes.

The $9,694,781 budget, passed without comment Monday by the board of education, includes a $205,000 increase in the local option budget, the result of a court decision forcing the Kansas Legislature to fully fund the state’s share of the budget.

That revenue will offset a projected $135,000 decrease in the general fund budget, the result of lower average enrollment the past three years.

Leiker projected a slight enrollment increase this year, but said the three-year average enrollment used to calculate the budget dropped by 20 students, from 534 to 514, causing the general fund decrease.

“We lose a lot of that benefit of the supreme court decision because of our decline in enrollment,” Leiker said. “We’re going to be roughly $70,000 higher overall.”

Increased state funding means the mill levy for taxes will drop by one-quarter of 1 percent, Leiker said.

In other business:

  • Following a 45-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters, the board terminated the contract of aquatics director Heather Calhoun, effective Aug. 31. Lyndsay Hett was hired as an elementary aide at a rate of $9 an hour. Margene Dornbush was hired as a middle school/high school cook at a rate of $9 per hour, not to exceed 2-1/2 hours per day. Kristi Mercer was hired as board clerk and administrative assistant at the district office at an annual salary of $40,000.
  • Substitute teacher pay was raised $10 per day from $80 to $90, a move Leiker said was necessary to remain competitive with other districts.
  • Substitute bus driver pay was increased from $9 to $10 per hour.
  • The district will purchase a 7-passenger 2007 Chevy Uplander for $9,500 from state surplus.
  • A bus use request from Chad Adkins for the Men’s Encounter group was approved. The group will reimburse the district for all expenses.

 

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