BEATRICE – Beatrice Public Schools administration is piecing together the new budget of the district, which will go before a public hearing, September 10th.
New Superintendent Jason Alexander says the primary focus of the budget is what best serves students…and maximizing budget allowances to gain state aid.
The District 15 Board of Education discussed the budget at the committee-level, Wednesday night.
Eight years ago, Beatrice Public Schools received about $8.34 million in state aid. That figure has now dropped to about $5.17 million. That decline has come at a time that Nebraskans realize property taxes are too high.
Alexander says the decline in state aid is not attributed just to student population, but the biggest factor involves changes in property valuation over the years.
:22 “tax asking”
Gage County’s overall valuation this coming year is rising slightly less than two percent. It’s a smaller increase than has occurred in the past five to eight years…a time when agriculture land was selling for much higher prices.
Preliminary figures for this coming year’s budget include total expenditures of some $31.8 million, revenues before taxes of about $19.17 million…and a projected property tax request of about $12.64 million.
In recent months, the bond issue used to build Beatrice High School was paid off.
:21 “not there anymore”
Beatrice Public Schools is at the maximum of its general fund levy of a dollar-five cents. There’s been concern in the Beatrice School District about further tapping budget reserves. Alexander says it’s still important to work at adding enrollment to the district.