USD 418 officials present LOB hike to public

By Chris Swick
June 04, 2015

The McPherson school board is looking to raise the Local Option Budget by three percent, which would translate into about $470, 000.

USD 418 Superintendent Randy Watson made two presentations Wednesday to interested members of the public explaining the board's reasoning behind trying to raise the LOB. Part of that reasoning is the desire to avoid further staffing cuts.

“We've already reduced to [$1.7 million] and that includes somewhere between 10 and 20 staff members,” Watson said. “We would probably still be looking at another four to five to six more staff members [cut] if this doesn't go through.”

Ballots for the special election to allow the district to raise the LOB to 33 percent were to have arrived in the mail Tuesday. State regulations prevented them from holding the election during a normal election cycle in April or November.

“And the law says if you don't do that ballot by June 30, you never get to do it again,” Watson said. “So the board is saying we've got to do it now and we've got to do it by mail ballot.”

Watson added the school board will attempt to keep the mill levy at 51, which is the lowest in the county. Smoky Valley is the next lowest at 53.634, while Canton-Galva is the highest at 62.361.

The ballots must be returned to the McPherson County Courthouse by June 23.