by Alan McArthur
The Park Hill School Board on Thursday heard a preliminary report on the budget for the 2008-2009 school year.
According to Paul Kelly, assistant superintendent for business and technology, the district is expecting an increase in revenue for the next school year of 6.1 percent from local property taxes.
The 6.1 percent increase is derived from an increase in assessed valuation for the district of $80,461,238 to a total value of $1.39 billion.
Kelly said the increase would help to offset increases in employee health insurance costs, increases in fuel costs for buses and increased employee salaries.
Kelly also recommended the board consider increasing the district's tax levy rate from the current $4.6467 to the ceiling of $4.6827 because of a new law passed by the Missouri Legislature requiring taxing entities to roll back their tax levy every year to prevent a windfall in tax revenue from reassessment.
Kelly said that if the district did not increase the levy it will lose out on the 3.6-cent difference.
The tax increase would provide an additional $540,000 in the next school year. Kelly recommended the district put the money toward capital improvements.
Several board members expressed hesitation and requested the board discuss the issue further at upcoming meetings before deciding on the issue.
Another preliminary presentation on the budget will be presented on June 12. The budget will then be approved by the board at the June 26 meeting and the levy will be set at the August meeting.
The board also approved repairs to the Park Hill High School kitchen to repair damage caused by settling. The repairs will cost an estimated $383,178.
The board also will replace 160 32-inch televisions in middle school classrooms with ceiling-mounted projectors. The total cost for the projectors including installation is $107,200.
The board also approved the curriculum changes for the school classes including middle school speech and publications changes, 6-12 grade foreign language, and the gifted program curriculum.