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Dist. 84 board OKs levy payable in 2013

Down 4.78 percent

December 15, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

SLEEPY EYE - The District 84 Board of Education unanimously approved the 2012 levy payable 2013 Thursday.

The proposed $743,116 levy is $37,283 (4.78 percent) less than the $780,399 actual levy payable in 2012.

The most significant changes in the payable 2013 levy are health & safety, a $67,847 increase, re-employment insurance a $37,449 decrease, and total debt service, a $47,230 decrease, according to District 84 Truth in Taxation data.

In his report, Supt. John Cselovszki said the district's projected federal funds loss from federal budget sequestration in 2013 would be 8.2 percent ($28,232.68) less than $344,301 it received in 2012.

Cselovszki was optimistic about the district being in a better financial position, according to figures in the Education Finance Working Group Recommendations and Report released last month. According to the report, Dist. 84 revenue per admission would rise from $10,411 under current law to $11,501 under the working group recommendation.

Recommendations include:

Targeting all-day kindergarten for students living in poverty.

Reversing the regressive nature of school funding by lessening reliance on local referenda by rolling a portion of referendum levies into the general education formula.

Restoring the inflation-adjusted general education formula to the FY 2003 level.

Making existing school property tax levies less regressive, more stable and uniform throughout the state by replacing several existing school levies with a uniform general education levy including the portion of referendum levies rolled into the formula;

Restoring school levy equalization formulas.

Indexing school levy equalization formulas to the state average tax base per student.

Reforming special education funding by significantly increasing special education aid to reduce cross subsidies.

Replace the current expenditure reimbursement formula with a new formula based partly on school district enrollment and number of students in high-cost, low-incidence special education programs;

Improving the special education excess cost formula.

Requiring the serving school district or charter school to share in funding excess special education costs for open-enrolled students with the resident district.

Reform compensatory funding to more effectively close achievement gaps by allocating all compensatory revenue based on poverty concentration, instead of basing revenue on hours of extended time instruction.

Allowing districts greater flexibility in the use of compensatory revenue.

Simplifying funding formulas and student accounting to make K-12 education funding more understandable and transparent.

Eliminating unnecessary formulas and simplifying how students are counted for funding purposes;

Recognizing and rewarding growth in student achievement by continuing literacy incentive aid.

Refocusing integration funding by clarifying revenue uses and allocating revenue based on concentration of students of color in each eligible district.

Recognizing regional cost differences by rolling a portion of referendum revenue into a new location equity levy for the seven-county metro area and for non-metro regional centers.

Provide more uniform access to facilities funding, increased use of it and reducing excessive monitoring and cumbersome paperwork.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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