Board faces levy request decision

money clip art            The Independent School District 834 Board will determine operating levy totals that could be put on the November ballot at its meeting tonight.

The district’s operating levy expires if not renewed by voters this fall. A failed referendum would result in $11 million in district budget cuts.

Funding amounts discussed at previous school board meetings include:

  • A straight renewal. The district currently gets $1,012 per pupil or about $11 million, about 20 percent of the district’s general operating fund. That $11 million would be cut from the district across the board if the operating levy is not renewed in November. The district currently faces $4 to District officials said $6 million would still have to be cut from the budget cuts if the current operating levy is renewed.
  • The other two options that would cause a tax increase and have been discussed at past meetings include:
  • A half-cap funding option that stands at $1,333 per pupil. It would provide an additional $3.5 million to the district each year. This option would cost the owner of a $200,000 home a total monthly property tax increase of $8.27 or about $99 a year.
  • Option three is a three-quarter funding cap option that would stand at $1,494 per pupil. It would give the district $4 million more per year. This option would cost the owner of $200,000 home a total monthly property tax increase of $12.41 or $149 a year.

The new strategic plan district officials hopes to implement if the levy renewal passes would cost $14.6 million. A bond referendum for proposed school security measures is also being considered for the November ballot. It would cost $3 million and could be rolled into the ballot question.

The number of questions that would be included on a November ballot will also be determined at Thursday’s meeting. Board members will discuss the levy at their 5:30 p.m. learning session. Action on the levy will be taken at the 7 p.m. meeting. Both meetings are at Stillwater City Hall.

The business meeting also includes presentations on board governance policy changes, insurance renewal rates and the new strategic plan action plan.