The Manhattan-Ogden school board on Wednesday will vote on its proposed budget for the 2019-20 school year.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6:25 p.m., five minutes ahead of a regular meeting at the Robinson Education Center, 2031 Poyntz Ave.
District administrators are proposing a $106.8 million budget that calls for a 5.326-mill increase to 62.115 mills in 2020.
A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value.
Based on a 0.4% increase in the average value of a home in Riley County, that means that a homeowner paying $607.07 in 2019 taxes on a $100,000 home would pay $671.18 in 2020 taxes on a $104,000 home, which is an increase of $64.11 or 10.56%.
Most of that increase stems from the district’s new debts as the result of a $129.5 million bond project, which voters approved in November. Without that increase — which amounts to a 7.777-mill jump in the district’s bond and interest fund — the district’s total mill levy would have actually decreased by 2.451 mills due to increased state funding for K-12 education.
With the public hearing, the school board can only decrease the budget going forward by state statute.
In any case, district officials said their practice is to overbudget for the school year because once the school board approves a budget, the district cannot spend over that amount, which would restrict them in the case of any necessary, unplanned purchases. For that reason, the district will likely only spend $101 million, said Lew Faust, director of business services.
The board will also consider ratifying a 6.5% total compensation package increase for the district’s teachers. With approval of that agreement, the board will also vote on pay changes for the district’s classified personnel and administration.
In July, the board gave classified personnel — workers like the district’s cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians and paraeducators — a 50-cent-an-hour raise as part of a two-phase pay increase. The second phase, a 6.5% increase, was delayed until this month to match the figure in the teacher agreement. District administrators say the pay increases will help the district retain and compete for personnel.
No details were available Tuesday morning on the district’s plans for administrative staff salaries, although Faust said administrators have typically seen pay changes in line with teacher pay increases.