Residents of the Wheatland J1 School District will have a the chance to vote on Oct 14 on a referendum seeking permission to increase the revenue limit by an amount not-to-exceed $625,000 for four years, starting with the coming school year.
The referendum will be the only matter on the ballot that day. The referendum was approved by the School Board Wednesday.
Due to a projected increase in state aid and growth in enrollment, there will be no increase in the levy and no increase in the school portion of resident taxes if the referendum is passed, district administrator Martin McGinley said in a media release.
From the media release:
In the last five years funding under the revenue limit has increased less than the pace of inflation. Yet, Wheatland has managed to keep the overall tax levy flat with an increase of only .005% or $17,000 since 2010. In addition, the Wheatland School District has decreased spending per pupil significantly for 2014-15 to ensure no increase in taxes. The Wheatland School Board reduced staffing for 2014-15 by 2.5 FTE’s, saving over $200,000, which allowed for a reduction in the overall referendum request. The Wheatland Board of Education has also trimmed building budgets, reduced benefits costs, and has frozen total compensation for the last two years. Even with these expense reductions, a referendum to increase the revenue limit is needed to keep existing programs, build a recommended fund balance, and staff classes appropriately to provide a quality education for Wheatland students.
A referendum seeking approval of a non-recurring referendum for four years — $750,000 for each school/budget year — failed in April by a vote of no 286 to yes 233.