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Education

2021-22 LUHS budget calls for 1.24% levy increase

Lakeland.PNG
LUHS
/

Officials at Lakeland Union High School on Monday, Oct. 25 will be presenting their 2021-22 budget that requires a property tax levy of $12,013,400, an increase of 1.24 percent from the prior year’s number of $11,866,781.

The budget hearing is at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s distance learning room and will be presented by finance director Greg Kopp. Immediately following will be the district’s annual meeting, at which qualified electors will vote on the levy, as well as set board members’ annual salaries.

Kopp reviewed the budget at a special meeting Monday. He said it shows “a small surplus” of $233,456 on total expenditures of $21,367,569, an increase of nearly 6.5% over the 2020-21 budget expenditures of $19,859,132. Salaries and benefits account for about $12 million of that total cost.

He said the proposed budget includes seven new positions, including two in special education and five in the core education areas. More staff were needed to help students who fell behind in their education because of COVID-19 issues, he explained.

Revenues this coming year are projected at $21,601,025, compared to $21,154,388 the prior year.

The finance director said the levy amount may change slightly in the upcoming week, as the state finetunes its aid numbers.

School enrollment has increased to 749 students, with last year’s figure at 726. Due to open enrollment, the district gained 21 students, he said. Forty-six were admitted from out of district and 25 left the district. The increase in student enrollment allowed the district to collect more property tax.

Still to be resolved is what the increase in staff salaries will be.

Some welcome news was also shared Monday. Kopp said the LUHS District can expect to receive slightly more than one million dollars in federal aid (administrated by the state) to cover COVID-19-related expenses, primarily for additional staff.

So far, the district has received about $118,000 to cover expenses related to curtailing the spread of COVID-19 at schools, as well as additional staff time.