Residents in the Staples-Motley School District will head to the polls again this November.
The Staples-Motley School Board agreed Monday to ask residents to increase the general education revenue by $794 per pupil unit. If voters approve the referendum, it would generate about $1.5 million per year for six years.
Residents last fall defeated the district's referendum to increase the general education revenue by $415 per pupil unit. This amount would have generated $826,000 per year for six years.
Staples-Motley Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said the district's Finance Committee is working on what the November levy referendum money would be spent on.
Scarbrough said a referendum is badly needed and will determine how much the school district will have to cut in the 2004-05 school year. He said if the referendum passes the district still would have to cut around $400,000 to $800,000. If the referendum does not pass, the district would be faced with about a $2 million reduction.
"This amount of cuts will really hurt this school district with an operating budget of this size," he said. The district operated its 2002-03 budget at an estimated $15.43 million in revenue and $16.15 million in expenditures.
The school district made about $3.5 million in reductions in the past five years. The district has not had a levy referendum in place since.
What mainly has affected the school's budget are the Legislature and a declining enrollment. Scarbrough projects a loss of $99,800 in state equity aid if the referendum passes and $111,600 in revenue reduced for fewer students. These two factors alone will automatically bring the referendum dollars down to $1.288 million.
Scarbrough said regardless of the referendum, the district plans to buy three school buses that will cost about $195,000. He said the district already has held off on the purchase for a few years because of the budget cuts and can wait no longer.
Other financial losses the district faces, Scarbrough said, are $23,000 in first-grade preparation; $30,000 in the No Child Left Behind; and $300,000 to $400,000 in loss due to inflation.
If the referendum passes, a homeowner with a $100,000 market value home would see an annual $217 increase in school taxes.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.