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Deadline approaches to enrollment choice
School budget keeps flat mill levy
428 district office

Great Bend USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton told the school board Monday that 2,380 students have enrolled for that fall semester and about 10% of them – 244 students – have chosen the remote learning plan to start the school year.

It’s typical for some students to enroll at the last minute, especially at Great Bend High School, but Thexton said the deadline for those wanting the remote learning option is Wednesday.

Board members discussed plans for the start of school on Aug. 27 and they approved the latest draft of those plans. Information can be found on the district website, where there is a link to enrollment information and to “Great Bend Together -RESTART PLAN.”

Budget approved

The school board also held a budget hearing and approved next year's budget as published. In order to keep the mill levy close to last year’s level, the budget includes a reduction in the tax to be collected for capital outlay.

Thexton noted that the estimated tax rate for next year will be 41.440 mills, a slight drop from this year’s actual rate of 41.459 mills.

The supplemental general mill levy – also known as the local option budget – increases by close to 1 mill (from 13.905 to 14.940), so to keep the mill levy comparable to the previous year the district reduced the capital outlay mill levy from 7.554 to 6.500 mills. The tax to be levied is $6,241,528, a decrease from $6,956,005.

The budget was approved as published in the July 31 edition of the Great Bend Tribune. That publication also shows 7 mills levied for the Great Bend Recreation Commission and 1.5 mills for the GBRC Employee Benefit and Insurance fund. Thexton reminded board members that this is not part of the school district’s money; USD 428 is the taxing entity but funds go to the Rec Commission.

Contributions and personnel

In other business, the board accepted the following contributions:

• Park Elementary received $610 of memorial contributions in memory of Mrs. Rebecca Stonebraker, a dedicated teacher who retired after several years of teaching at Park Elementary.

• Park Elementary received $75 for the Drone Club from Wayne and Connie Rathbun.

• Kroger reward incentives were received for: Eisenhower Elementary, $147.64; Jefferson Elementary, $431.39; Lincoln Elementary, $441.11; and Riley Elementary, $267.47.

Two licensed teacher appointments were approved. Amy Turner will teach special education at Riley Elementary and Lindsay Behnke will teach English at Great Bend High School.

Assistant Superintendent John Popp said all teaching positions for the fall semester have been filled. The district is still short one school psychologist and he hopes to have one by the end of the year as a district employee completes the training for that job.

Note: A revised version of this story will be posted on Aug. 11, 2020