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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View opts to exceed revenue-neutral tax rate in 2024

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

LA CYGNE – The Prairie View USD 362 school board on Monday voted to adopt a resolution notifying the Linn County Clerk’s office that the district’s budget would exceed the revenue-neutral tax rate for 2024.

All school boards, cities and other local taxing entities are required to notify the county clerk’s office by July 20 if they intend to approve a budget that exceeds the revenue-neutral rate. So despite Prairie View’s notice, the district’s budget is still in the works and the board did not have firm numbers to work with..

Prairie View Superintendent Chris Johnson said she thought the process was backward, and that drew agreement from several board members.

The board voted unanimously to hold a combined hearing on the 2024 budget and its decision to exceed the revenue-neutral rate at 6:45 on Sept. 19 in the district office. That hearing will take place just before the regular board meeting, now on it’s new monthly schedule.

In it’s annual reorganization agenda that includes a list of duties for administrators, the board voted to change its regular monthly meeting date from the second Monday of the month to the third Tuesday of each month. Johnson said that the second Monday meetings created problems for the district’s business office in processing payroll and bills and that the extra week would help relieve that burden.

Board member Brian Uphoff noted that the second Monday had been the regularly scheduled evening for at least two decades and that some district patrons might not realize the change had been made.

The board also approved advertising for sale the housing built by students in Prairie View High School’s construction program. Board members discussed options including contacting a real estate agent to list the house or keeping the house and renting it out to new teachers when necessary. A drawback to renting it to a teacher was that if the board decided to sell it, it would take more than a year to do so.

The house is not entirely finished and the new owner would need to install carpet and paint. Prairie View has about $152,000 in the house for materials and subcontractor work. The district will not have this program next year.

Johnson said she would be willing to show the house in La Cygne to prospective buyers.

In other business, the board:

  • Heard from Fontana area resident Cyndi Danford that she had tried numerous times over the past few months to get approval from PVHS for enrollment for two foreign exchange students – one from Germany, the other from Poland. Danford, who works for the agency that is sponsoring her students, said she has placed 50 exchange students for the coming school year without problem in other districts. She said the delay in getting PVHS approval will likely cost the students that will be staying with her more than $2,000 each in additional air fare.

  • Approved the enrollment of three out-of-district students for the 2023-24 school year including a kindergartener and 10th grader from Osawatomie USD 367 and a fifth-grader from Jayhawk USD 346.

  • Approved paying nearly $12,800 in annual dues to the Kansas Association of School Boards and more than $2,700 for KASB’s legal services.

  • Approved hiring three PVHS alumni for district posts: Brianna Haupt as physical education teacher at La Cygne Elementary School, Cheryl Webber as aide at Parker Elementary, and Luke Page as assistant high school football coach.

  • Learned that the district’s health insurance committee is looking at a plan that will offer more choices for district employees including a high-deductible health savings plan or a preferred provider plan with a lower deductible. The provider also has vision and dental insurance as well. Johnson said more information would be available at September’s board meeting.

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