October 25, 2014

District calls budget ‘bare bones,’ 1 mill increase proposed

Mark Taylor
mtaylor@gardnernews.com
The Gardner Edgerton School Board voted Aug. 1 to publish what Business Director Eric Hansen calls a “bare bones” budget.
The school board will host a public hearing on the budget on Aug. 15 before voting on whether to adopt it.
The budget must be filed with the county clerk and state by Aug. 25.
“It’s going to be very, very tight for the next couple of years,” said Hansen, who added that revenue forecasts for the school district are bleak. “We have very little breathing room in this budget. It is bare bones. It is as lean as I have seen.”
The budget proposes a 1 mill increase in the property tax levy, from 81.54 to 82.54 mills. But based on declining averaged appraised home values in the district, the average taxpayer will pay about $36 less in school property taxes for the 2011-12 school year.

Hansen said the owner of an average $153,041 house – which fell in appraised value from $158,782 the previous school year, would pay about $1,452 in 2011-12 school taxes compared with $1,488 the previous year.
The school district is facing a 2.2 percent decrease in assessed valuation, following a 4.1 percent decrease in 2010-11 and a 5 percent decrease in 2009-10.
From 2009-2010, the mean appraised home value fell 2.5 percent from $162,771 to $158,782 in Gardner and declined 3.38 percent from $110,120 to $106,617 in Edgerton.
Despite drooping home values, the school district’s student population continues to grow.
Hansen said the district’s demographer is projecting a 4.5 percent growth spurt in 2011-12, but that number will not be finalized until headcounts and weighting factors are established on Sept. 20.
One of the “more significant components” of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budgets, Hansen said, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) federal economic stimulus dollars, of which the district received $1.712 million in 2009-10 and $440,424 in 2010-11, will no longer be available in 2011-12.

Likewise, state aid per-pupil funding is the lowest it has been since 2000. The district is expected to receive $3,780 per pupil in 2012, which equates to a $4.585 million loss in 2011-12.
Hansen estimated that as long as there are no more cuts in the base state aid during the 2011-12 year, the district’s general fund budget authority is expected to increase by $992,000 to $27.94 million.
“However, it is important to be reminded of the fact that in (2008-09) our general fund budget authority was $28.115 million, which illustrates the ongoing impact of the significant reductions in the base staid aid per pupil as approved by our elected officials over the past three years,” Hansen wrote in a memo to the board.

Hansen said a “positive note” in the 2011-12 budget is that the district’s Local Option Budget (LOB) authority is expected to increase by $409,609 – from $8.970 million in 2010-11 to $9,380 million in 2011-12 – as a result of Senate Bill 84, which “decoupled” the LOB from the general fund budget.
The district is facing $11.431 million in 2011-12 bond and interest payments, compared with $11.2 million the previous year.
However, staid aid for bond and interest has increased from 25 percent in 2009-10 to 30 percent in 2010-11 and to 35 percent in 2011-12.
“While this trend is a result of the downward trend in our assessed values, the shift will lead to an additional $611,845 in state aid,” Hansen said.  “In the meantime, we will obviously have to continue to analyze this fund and many any and all adjustments necessary and at our disposal in order to minimize future tax increases.”

Comments

  1. GardnerCitizen says:

    Who are they kidding, that district does NOTHING bare bones. DeSoto ran Gillhaus out of town when he spent them into the poorhouse, when will Gardner do the same? And don’t even get me started on that rubber stamping board of ed.

  2. The Board along with most government entities continue to spend more money than what is coming in and therefore they need to raise the mill levy. Sure as heck wouldn’t want them taking care of my personal account but they sure do a job on what I have to pay them and it becomes more clear to me their priority is sports rather than education for our youth. That highest or one of the highest 3 school tax mill levies in the whole state should tell you something. Who is to blame the most – Gilhaus or the Board who most recently renewed his contract for another 3 years I believe it was.

  3. what does Gilhaus make?

  4. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    The contracted salary for 2010-2011 for USD231 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Bill Gilhaus, was $227,619 (including benefits) — a 5.8% increase from 2009-2010. The average for 289 Kansas school district superintendents was $104,340, a 1.3% decrease from 2009-2010.

    Dr. Gilhaus (with 5,042 students) was the 5th-highest paid superintendent in the state last year. After taking a 10.5% pay cut, the Olathe superintendent (with 27,358 students) earned $37 more than Dr. Gilhaus.

  5. As far as I am concerned Gilhaus and the School Board are more than ready to feed the district families a Satan Sandwich on the bond issue they are pushing and they don’t care how sick the people will get from eating it…………..along with the financial rape they will be serving with the sandwich………that is my opinion………..

  6. Well, I am sure citizens know who to blame for paying Gilhaus this astronomical salary PLUS benefits……………themselves in part for allowing this to happen by voting for a Board that would enable this type of operation………..you get what you support and enable…………

  7. My concern is students are graduated:

    1 – without being able to figure money change unless they are using a calculator/cash register;

    2 – one man was reprimanded for hunting for meat for the table – that he should not be shooting animals – instead he should buy his meat from THE MEAT STORE THAT MAKES MEAT!!!

    3 – food channel asked people what they would do if farmers quit growing fruits & vegetables – they replied BUY FROM THE GROCERY STORE!!!

    4 – another man with grocery store asked his helper (Valedictorian of his high school class) to put the peach pies out for a special sale – checked later – the peach pies were not out as requested – what was wrong??? The helper did not know how to spell PEACHES!!! (AND, he was the Valedictorian of his high school class)

  8. that’s a quarter of a million dollars gilhaus makes. how many books would that buy?

  9. no wonder i don’t see him at the dollar store.

  10. Does he even live around here???

  11. The Kids are Allright says:

    I think our schools offer a pretty dang good education. Some kids don’t take advantage of it – they have no motivation. Some kids have families that just flat out don’t care or don’t have the motivation for their kids to have a better life than them – that isn’t the school’s fault. I believe our schools are doing better than you think. Maybe you need to look at the individual children’s lives and what other factors are involved. I am sorry that some kids do not know how to count back change, but I don’t believe “would you like fries with that?” is in the curriculum.

  12. So, you are saying the 3 R’s (Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic) are not important to be graduated. Guess not if you are a “taker”. I studied hard from very used books & wore family hand-me-down clothes. I work hard to pay my way, so don’t tread on me for anything I have. There are those of us that are fed up with taxes, taxes, taxes.

  13. Watch this one! It will stagger your mind.
    Three minutes, will blow you away……
    This is VERY interesting and MUST be watched.
    Can it get any simpler than this ?

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/VtVbUmcQSuk

  14. ‎”If the government supports the people, who will support the government?”
    —President Grover Cleveland

  15. the kids are allright says:

    @Granny – actually I believe that Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic are very important – and our kids are learning those things in the district. I wish that every child was reachable, and had a good support system around them, but that just isn’t the case. I think a lot of folks are quick to blame the school for every child that isn’t an over achiever. That is ridiculous. I think that there are awesome educators in this district that do their best to teach, mentor, and support our students, but the fact remains that there are parents that are lacking in those areas and not all of the children feel the motivation to do well.

  16. George Adam Rifford IV says:

    The idea of a school bond at this point in time is not a bad idea; our district is growing. However, (and unfortunately), I don’t believe that this particular bond is the right bond for our district at this point in time. I think that a vast majority of Gardner citizens agree with this as well.

    We will soon find out.

  17. Ms Ben Dover says:

    Vote No. How much more can we stand. We already pay one of the highest sales taxes in Johnson County, and what are we getting for it.

    Our water is going up 6% and our drain water is going up 3%. Give us a break please!

  18. Judith…

    Have you been using too much Metamucil?

    Flushing the toilet that much has raised the city water bill!

  19. State of Affairs says:

    Really cute Mr. Ben–Come over to Edgerton and pay our high water/sewer bills plus we will be asked to pay monthly fees for the intermodal water/sewer set up. Plus other projects for the intermodal. Plus higher property taxes for the intermodal. Plus higher property taxes when the school bond is passed.

  20. State of Affairs says:

    We could do like they do in Spain/Morocco (8.1 miles apart on the map) and squat on the street. Servicemen stationed there saw a man sitting on the street begging. The servicemen were discussing what to do to help him, when he got up and walked away, revealing that he was just using the bathroom.

    Further, in the old days, human waste from the out houses was used for fertilizer. Now, with our food supply coming from various foreign countries, we don’t know what is being used.

    The railroad said they were going to take care of all that ugly agriculture land here for the intermodal. Like Judith says, and gets repeatedly slammed, the politicians won’t be happy until all of Johnson County is covered with concrete. (And, great-grandma, myself, and others are taxed and fees out into the street.)

  21. I am reposting something Mr. Kellogg posted. It doesn’t look like administrative salaries are “bare bones.”

    Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:
    August 6, 2011 at 10:38 am
    The contracted salary for 2010-2011 for USD231 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Bill Gilhaus, was $227,619 (including benefits) — a 5.8% increase from 2009-2010. The average for 289 Kansas school district superintendents was $104,340, a 1.3% decrease from 2009-2010.

    Dr. Gilhaus (with 5,042 students) was the 5th-highest paid superintendent in the state last year. After taking a 10.5% pay cut, the Olathe superintendent (with 27,358 students) earned $37 more than Dr. Gilhaus.

  22. kids and NEEDS come first says:
  23. ThePatriot says:

    The link posted by “kids and NEEDS come first” post some facts but uses those facts to in an attempt to deceive voters. You can’t use a decline in enrollment for one year let alone a year in the middle of recession as planning tool for infrastructure. It is even disingenuous to use what enrollment for particular school for that same year. If you threw out the 2011 as an outlier you would have even higher rates of enrollment increases.

    Readers who want real facts to go to: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1870 (Courtesy of Mr. Jerry Kellogg). On left of the page is menu of links. Click on the Headcount Enrollment (Public Schools) link. You should see the Headcount Enrollment for Public schools as reported for each districts in the form of an Excel spreadsheets for each school year from 2005 to 2011. Within each spreadsheet is a row for USD 231 showing the enrollment for each school.

    I extracted each of the lines representing USD 231 for each year. I then added cells that summed and averaged the enrollment changes over the 2006 through 2011 years. Each row represents a school year. The first column is the Elementary enrollments, the second column represent the increase from the previous year.

    Elementary Middle Both
    2,174 51 1,539 55 3,713 106 (2011)
    2,123 122 1,484 56 3,607 178 (2010)
    2,001 76 1,428 95 3,429 171 (2009)
    1,925 70 1,333 67 3,258 137 (2007)
    1,855 98 1,266 82 3,121 180 (2006)
    1,757 1,184 2,941 (this row shows average enrollment)
    83 71 154 (this rows shows average increase

    To keep it short based on headcount information reported to the State the average enrollment increase from 2006 through 2011 is:

    Elementary: +83 or 4.8 % of average enrollment over that same period.
    Middle: +71 or 5.2% of average enrollment over that same period.

  24. ThePatriot says:

    I am going to attemp to post the data better alligned: Each row represents a school year. The first column is the Elementary enrollments, the second column represent the increase from the previous year.

    Elementary Middle Both
    2,174 +51 1,539 +55 3,713 +106 (2011)
    2,123 +122 1,484 +56 3,607 +178 (2010)
    2,001 + 76 1,428 +95 3,429 +171 (2009)
    1,925 +70 1,333 +67 3,258 +137 (2007)
    1,855 +98 1,266 +82 3,121 +180 (2006)
    1,757 1,184 2,941 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +83 +71 +154 (this rows shows average increase

  25. ThePatriot says:

    Oh well, that is best I can do. It would be nice if the webmaster could format the data.

  26. ThePatriot says:

    Sorry I am going to try again:

    Elementary
    2,174 +51 (2011)
    2,123 +122 (2009)
    2,001 +76 (2008)
    1,925 +70 (2007)
    1,855 +98 (2006)

    1,757 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +83 (this rows shows average increase

    Middle School
    1,539 +55 (2011)
    1,484 +56 (2009)
    1,428 +95 (2008)
    1,333 +67 (2007)
    1,266 +82 (2007)

    1,184 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +71 (this rows shows average increase

    Both Elementary and Middle
    3,713 +106 (2011
    3,607 +178 (2010)
    3,429 +171 (2009
    3,258 +137 (2007)
    3,121 +180 (2006)

    2,941 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +154 (this rows shows average increase

    To keep it short based on headcount information reported to the State the average enrollment increase from 2006 through 2011 is:

    Elementary: +83 or 4.8 % of average enrollment over that same period.
    Middle: +71 or 5.2% of average enrollment over that same period.

  27. kids and NEEDS come first says:

    Patriot, your numbers just prove the claims of 6% annual growth by USD231 to be false. Gardner-Edgerton is growing, but we are REALLY slowing down.

    Another nice thing about gardnerschoolbond.info is that all the data is from USD231 and KSDE! :)

    Vote NO!

  28. ThePatriot says:

    The data is simply historical data and does not disprove the USD 231 6% increase. I would need to know what assumptions they made.

    But using historical averages we need 415 elementary seats in 5 years and 355 middles school seats in 5 years.

    Also the data was correct but mislabeled here is the correction:

    Elementary
    2,174 +51 (2011)
    2,123 +122 (2010)
    2,001 +76 (2009)
    1,925 +70 (2008)
    1,855 +98 (2007)
    1,757 (2006)

    1,973 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +83 (this rows shows average increase)

    Middle School
    1,539 +55 (2011)
    1,484 +56 (2010)
    1,428 +95 (2009)
    1,333 +67 (2008)
    1,266 +82 (2007)
    1,184 (2006)

    1,372 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +71 (this rows shows average increase)

    Both Elementary and Middle
    3,713 +106 (2011)
    3,607 +178 (2010)
    3,429 +171 (2009)
    3,258 +137 (2008)
    3,121 +180 (2007)
    2,941 (2006)

    3,345 (this row shows average enrollment)
    +154 (this rows shows average increase)

    To keep it short based on headcount information reported to the State the average enrollment increase from 2006 through 2011 is:

    Elementary: +83 or 4.2 % of average enrollment over that same period.
    Middle: +71 or 5.2% of average enrollment over that same period.

    The School District assumption is 6% growth. That is close but higher that historical averages.

Comments do not necessarily reflect those of The Gardner News, or staff. By posting, commentators assume all liability. Please contact webmaster to report comments that infringe on copyrights, or are of a profane or libelous nature. Webmaster reserves the right to edit or remove content deemed offensive.


 

Speak Your Mind