Property tax for H-W increases 35¢

A budget hearing was held in the Howard-Winneshiek Community School Board on April 7 with some teachers and community members present.
Supt. Dianne Anderson gave a PowerPoint presentation explaining some of the finances.
She said, “The school district’s  Maximum Authorized Budget for general expenditures is also known as TSA or Total Spending Authority.”
The TSA for Fiscal 2012 at How-Winn is $14,714,699.
Combined District Cost         $11,467,341
Prior Year’s Unspent Balance 1,091,121
Allowance for Construction   0.00
Instructional Support             3667,546
Ed. Improvement Authority       0.00
Preschool Foundation Aid     300,033
Miscellaneous Income         1,188,658
How does this affect the typical property owner? The property tax increase from FY 2011 to FY 2012 is about 35¢, which would make the total tax levy for H-W around $13.98 per $1,000 in assessed value. The superintendent said the 35¢ increase is less than many school she has talked to.
Anderson said those calculations were completed with the allowable growth of zero percent and added preschool financing may rely totally on tuition and scholarships or vouchers from each student’s family.
Budget cuts
On March 28, the school board voted 3-2 to keep Elma Elementary open and spread the budget cuts throughout the district. Some of those cuts involve reducing staff. The reductions were generalized to a 7-12 English teacher or a one-half custodial position in both Lime Springs and Elma.
Now comes the hard part of putting names to positions. On Friday, April 8, many teachers were given “pink slips” or termination notices but those notices DO NOT mean every teacher’s position is in jeopardy.
Trying to make a complicated formula simple is not easy. In layman terms, each teacher is put into a category or “pool” for whatever subject they teach the most, such as  7-12 math, Title 1, music. If a level nine position in math is to be eliminated, level one, level two, level three etc. will also get a notice. If the level nine teacher has seniority, he or she can “bump” a lower level teacher.
Every staff member who has received a notice has the option of having a private hearing with the board.
The staff who has been “bumped” will all be named at a meeting on April 18 at 5:00 p.m. in the H-W board room. All eligible staff members will be hired back after April 30 when the district makes its final reductions.
The next school board meeting is to take place in Lime Springs-Chester Elementary on April 26.

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