Perhaps the New Berlin School Board should send a thank you note to Governor Jim Doyle and the state representatives responsible for the district getting more state aid.
In June, the School Board approved a $52.67 million General Fund budget for 2008-09 with a projected tax levy increase. Indeed, NOW reported: “Budget comes with 4.5 percent tax levy hike, Average homeowner would pay $115 more to operate schools”.
The budget ($52,675,656) & tax levy ($45,301,529) figures were cited in the public notice (July 24 NOW newspaper) of the July 28 District Annual Meeting. However, at the Annual Meeting the electorate was asked to approve a different, lesser tax levy (and tax levy increase) because of an unexpected $3 million state aid “windfall”.
Unexpected? Well, the district's assumption that property valuation would rise by at least 4% was wrong. Additionally, when Dr. Kreutzer’s administration calculated the budget & tax levy-- and presented its recommendations in June, they didn't have some significant data from the state.
According to Ross Mac Pherson, the district’s financial services director, NBPS gets more state aid because ( as reported by NOW )----
- the district benefits from a state aid formula that includes a less than expected increase in equalized property valuation (less than 4%).
- the district drew down its fund balance by $2.9 million last year to fund some building projects
- Gov. Jim Doyle’s insistence that K-12 school aid would be an exception to his zero growth state budget for 2009-10.
It should be noted, though, that state aid is not finalized until October, so things could change.
As for district spending: The proposed 2008-09 $52.67 million Gen. Fund budget approved by the school board is higher than the $51.97 million 2007-08 budget.