April 2015 Superintendent Newsletter
Dear USD #416 Wildcat Family,
I hope all of our students and families had an enjoyable spring break! My family enjoyed the time away from school, but just like many parents, my wife and I were ready to send our kids back to school on Monday, March 23rd!
As we enter into our 4th quarter of school, I encourage you to continue to support your child(ren) during these last two months of school. Is he/she where you would like him/her to be academically? Do we need to have a conference with staff about any concerns? Do you have concerns going into the next school year? I always want to be as proactive as possible. If you have any concerns, please contact your child’s teacher and principal. It has been a great school year and I want each student to end on a high note as we draw the 2015-2016 school year to a close.
I want to personally express my sincere thanks for the community support of our recent Local Option Budget (LOB) election. With about an 80% approval rating, it shows, once again, the strong support our community has for our school system. We are very fortunate that our patrons value a strong school system. Rest assured, we will continue to strive to provide the sound education that this community has supported for many years. At this time, the legislature and governor are still working through a finance formula for years to come. The proposed block grant is not favorable for USD #416. In its current format, our district would lose over $1.1 million in state aid for this year and the following two years. The Kansas Supreme Court will begin hearing testimony about this proposal on May 7th. The hope would be that the high court would intervene and block the proposed funding for schools. Without any court intervention, the block grant will drastically reduce state aid for our district and possibly force our district to raise the mill rate to offset the state aid loss. It is important that patrons understand a loss in state aid usually requires a school district to raise the difference locally through a mill rate increase. For example, last year, the district was able to lower the mill rate in the LOB from 19 mills to 15 mills because of more state aid. Increased state aid means that local taxpayers will have to contribute less local property tax to support the schools. As I stated, we will see what the Supreme Court rules in early May about the block grant that is proposed for the next few years.
All My Best!