Mohonasen at or below the tax levy limit for the 12th straight year
On Tuesday, May 16, Mohonasen voters will head to the polls to decide on a proposed $64.47 million budget for the 2023-24 school year. The budget proposal includes a tax levy increase of 2.25%, which is at the district’s state-calculated tax levy limit. As a result, a simple majority of voters is needed for it to be approved.
The proposed spending plan allows for the continuation of student support programs and activities that were put in place as a result of using federal stimulus money earmarked to assist with learning loss experienced during the pandemic. This includes lower class size targets in grades K-6, positions to support student mental health and a push for early literacy programs in Bradt Primary and Pinewood Intermediate schools.
The proposed spending plan represents an increase of $4.27 million, or 7.09%, over the current year. Most of the increase (approximately $3 million) is attributed to a rise in instructional costs, of which about $1.5 million is attributed to expenses that were previously funded through grants, including pandemic funding and the Draper School Improvement grant. The remaining amount is related to other instructional costs including technology, textbooks and student placements.
Much of that increase will be offset by an increase of almost $4.4 million in state aid, resulting from the state’s commitment to fully fund foundation aid by the 2023-24 school year. Foundation aid is general operating aid that the state provides to school districts.
“The state’s commitment to fully fund foundation aid enables the district to provide robust programs and services for students without placing an additional financial burden on taxpayers. This allows for long-range sustainability of all school programs,” said Superintendent Shannon Shine. “With foundation aid now fully funded, it will be important to continue to advocate at the state level for reasonable annual increases in order to keep up with rising costs due to inflation.”
State aid accounts for approximately 49% of Mohonasen’s revenue, with the property tax levy funding about 48% of the district’s annual spending. The district will also use about $1 million from fund balance and reserves, with another $560,000 coming from other revenue sources, such as rental of classroom space to BOCES.
You can find the breakdown of the budget proposal here.