The District 84 Board of Education met on Dec. 12 and approved the payable 2014 total property tax levy at $6,949,062.
The most significant changes affecting the levy include the board-approved referendum, student achievement, re-employment insurance and operating capitol.
The board-approved referendum will add the most amount to the general fund at $84,893 according to Amanda Boomgarden, who presented the power point at the hearing. Meanwhile, operating capital will increase by $17,440 from last year and re-employment insurance will increase by $14,290.
The payable levy for 2014 includes an increase of approximately $125,968 in the general fund, with a $1,215 increase in the community service fund. There is also an increase of $39,498 in debt redemption over what was paid this year. This is a 12.27 percent increase with a 2014 debt service fund of $361,354. The total levy will be applied July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 at an increase of $166,681.
There was also a new levy created by the state legislature this year, which is called student achievement. The levy is a reinstatement of the uniform general education levy, which was eliminated in 2000 when the state opted to cover general education costs. The amount under the new Student Achievement category will be $29,967, with that money replacing general education aid.
Total expenditures for Sleepy Eye School District's funds are $5,995,029 in the general fund, $315,530 in food service, $268,661 in community service, $361,354 in debt, and $600 in capital trust. The highest expenditures in the general fund include $2,966,552 in regular instruction, $971,108 in special education, $520,269 in sites/buildings, $479,236 in pupil support, and $394,304 in administration.
The beginning fund balance total was $2,433,856 while the estimated ending fund balance is $2,245,100.
The regular board meeting began immediately after the truth and taxation meeting. Good news items included the school being named one of top 20 schools in Minnesota. Also, the holiday band concert was successful and was well attended.
Principal Shane Laffen reported there was an on the job training meeting, and said he is excited for the program and to work with local businesses. He also said a distracted driving presentation was held for students.
Superintendent John Cselovszki reported expenditures in 2012-13 included $30,000 in legal fees regarding a student expulsion. Also, Cselovszki said the district offered the teachers union a 6.7 percent salary hike over two school years, while the teachers are asking for a 9.27 percent raise for the next two years.
The fiscal year 2013 audit was then presented by Joel Stencel from Eide Bailly. Bailly reported the district enrollment has been on a decline in the past few years. There were around 600 students in 2010, while in 2013 it dropped to 564.
The board approved the 2013 fiscal year audit, several reviewed policies as recommended by the policy committee, open enrollments, and the truth and taxation hearing.
The next meeting will be on Jan. 9, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.