The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education met briefly over the noon hour Monday and approved a 2019-2020 budget for publication. It appears as a legal advertisement in the classified section of Tuesday’s Great Bend Tribune.
Superintendent Khris Thexton noted that the estimated tax rate of 41.306 mills is comparable to last year’s actual rate of 41.301 mills. The tax rate for the supplemental budget — also called the local option budget — is expected to increase from 13.301 to 13.806 mills but in an attempt to keep the rate “flat” the district will reduce its capital outlay levy from 8 mills to 7.50 mills.
The tax rate for 2019-2020 is estimated and based on current assessed valuations. The amount of tax to be levied is $6.4 million, which is also the amount of expenditures budgeted. Thexton explained that actual expenditures are typically less. The budget shows 100 percent of the money levied so the district has access to the full amount.
The budget publication also shows taxes to be raised for the Great Bend Recreation Commission, which total 8.5 mills. These are not part of the school budget but are assessed to Great Bend USD 428 residents.
The action taken by the school board Monday includes scheduling a public budget hearing for 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, at the District Education Center, 205 Patton Road.
Administrators also shared the contents of “Form 150,” a worksheet that is used to estimate the legal maximum general fund budget. This worksheet shows that the 2019-20 total adjusted full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment, including the equivalent of 28 “4-year-old at risk” students, is 2,864.8. This year the state will pay $4,436 per pupil, a 6.5% increase over last year.
Another document, titled “budget at a glance,” shows actual FTE enrollment was 2,939.5 in 2015-2016; 2,860.5 in 3016-2017 (a 3% decline); 2,858.3 in 2017-2018 (about the same); and 2,816 in 2018-2019 (a 1% decline). The estimated FTE for 2019-2020 on this document is 2,888.5, a 3% increase.
The same document estimates 1,658 students will qualify for free meals this school year (a 5% increase over 2018-2019) and 290 will qualify for reduced-price meals (a 1% increase).