McPherson BOE hears preliminary budget figures

By Chris Swick
July 28, 2015

The McPherson Board of Education got an idea of their finances for the 2015-2016 school year during Monday's meeting and the news was fairly positive.

Business Manager Gordon Mohn told the board that the general fund was most likely going to stay level.

“The school finance fund, the block grant philosophy was that we would have the same number of dollars available in the General Fund as last year,” Mohn said. “There were a few adjustments because of state aid, so they're not exactly the same.”

The general fund is projected to shrink about $100,00 to $13,295,269 dollars.

Mohn said, however, that new facilities weighting will actually get a significant boost this year, thanks to the various projects undertaken by USD 418.

“Last year, we had a 173 kids at Roosevelt and Lincoln that were full-time at a new facility,” Mohn said. “Comes out to 43.3 FTE and the base is $3,852, so we generated that $166,000 as New Facilities Weighting. This year, those students stay, that weighting stays, will count again in this weighting. Plus we'll add the Washington facility and the new high school vocational facility.”

That equates into 325 total students, or a total of $312,975 dollars extra for the coming year, which would would boost the total General Fund and LOB Budget to $18,636,858 in 2015-2016.

Also helping the district out, especially when it comes to the mill levy, is the assessed valuation.

“We were surprised, pleasantly surprised, our assessed valuation was up a little over 10 percent,” Mohn said. “The multi-year average that Dr. [Randy] Watson used to talk about was two to three percent, so it was substantially up in that area. A caution is, sometimes those spikes in assessed valuation result in some kind of protest about taxes. So, while we can count on that now, it's not necessarily a guarantee, because it's an unusual spike.”

That assessed valuation, however, should help the district lower the mill levy by nearly a half a mill to 50.490 this coming school year.

Mohn cautioned that these were preliminary numbers and would most likely be adjusted, though not necessarily significantly, after the state and the county looks over the budget.

The school board is aiming to publish the budget on Aug. 14, with a public hearing and authorization slated for Aug. 24.