Proposed school budget holds line on tax rate

The Clear Lake School Board plans to hold the line on its tax rate in 2018-19.  The proposed district budget maintains the school district’s tax asking at $10.39 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.  That rate is the same as it used for its 2017-18 budget, which was an 80-cent increase over 2016-17.

Public hearing on the budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, in the District Administrative Office.

Superintendent Doug Gee said the proposed budget does not require any cuts.

“With the early retirements we had last year (13), the district is actually going to gain some on our unspent balance this year and if we can continue to be diligent with our spending, we could get back to where we are supposed to be in four to five years.  Of course, a lot of that depends on enrollment and what the legislatures do with State Supplemental Aid,” said Gee.

Last year the School Board was faced with making $600,000 in cuts due to the district’s overspending over the previous two years.  The deficit was due to overdrawing on its unspent balance and a growing special education deficiency, according to Gee.

The district did not offer an early retirement package this year.

Snow days

Unless more snow days are needed in the weeks to come, Clear Lake students will not need to extend their school year after the Memorial Day holiday.

Superintendent Doug Gee said the final day of classes for students will be Friday, May 25.  Teachers will work four days following the holiday to fulfill contract obligations.  The remaining school calendar would leave students with 1,095 hours of school time, which is 15 more than required by the state.

School sharing

The Clear Lake School District will retain the services of food service director  Lora Jensen during the 2018-19 school year. The School Board was faced with developing a new  contract for Jensen after the Mason City School Board voted 4-1 to discontinue sharing Jensen’s position.  Mason City had been receiving Jensen’s services on a 60 percent basis since a sharing

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