School levy likely to go down in 2011

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

The New Prague Area Schools will be certifying a preliminary levy at its Monday, Sept. 27, meeting, and according to the district's finance director the levy will likely be lower than last year.

Sandy Linn, the district's finance director, presented initial numbers to the board during a workshop Monday, Sept. 13. She said that as of right now, the district's levy will be down about 5.36 percent from last year. That means on a home valued at $200,000, the school's portion of property taxes will go form $991 to $938.

There are a number of factors, with several components of the levy seeing decreases from previous years due to prior year adjustments. She pointed out that the market value of all priority in the district was down 2.41 percent, while the statewide average was up by .027 percent. The referendum market value was down 4.91 percent,

The voter-approved levy, in its third year, will bring in $2.9 million, down 5.18 percent from 2010.

Linn said none of the numbers were final, since she is still working with all of the figures that go into the formula for determining the levy. She will have final numbers at the September 27 meetings and will recommend that the board approve the maximum levy, noting that the board can reduce the levy if it wishes in December, when the final figure is set, but cannot increase it.

Also at Monday's workshop, the board went over a draft of a community survey that the district has commissioned for this fall to gauge how residents will respond to a levy request if brought to voters in 2011.

The board approved the survey at its August meeting. It will be done over six weeks beginning in October.

Operations Director Tim Rybak and board members Larry Pint and Don Dvorak went over a proposal for school boundary changes for the district's three elementary schools. The committee went over several alternatives for reconfiguring grades, but determined the best solution would be to change boundaries.

The changes are necessary because under the current boundaries, Eagle View Elementary will be above capacity next year, while Falcon Ridge Elementary will continue to see a decrease in enrollment.

The proposal changes boundaries for all three schools, with Raven Stream Elementary Eagle View both losing a portion of its students to Falcon Ridge, and one part of the current Falcon Ridge area going to Eagle View. The biggest change would have Lonsdale area students - including open enrollment students from that area, going to Falcon Ridge instead of Eagle View.

Final boundaries have not been determined. Board members have talked about the need to survey families who would be affected by the switch.

Board member Trista Robischon said she had been trough this in another school district she lived in. Parent get all concerned about the change I know that all three of our schools are good

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