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Mitchell School District 2022-23 budget calls for 7.34% increase in general fund, 6.2% in capital outlay

Board expected to set school lunch prices later this summer

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MITCHELL — The Mitchell Board of Education got its first look at the proposed 2022-23 Mitchell School District budget Monday and saw a general increase in fund size throughout the budget.

The board reviewed the budget, but did not yet vote on its approval, at the board’s Monday, May 9 meeting at Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.

The agenda for the meeting shows that the proposed budget general fund would come in at $21,599,436, which is an increase from $20,121,972 from the 2021-22 district budget for a 7.34% increase.

In the capital outlay fund, the 2022-23 proposed budget indicates a total of $4,856,791. That is also an increase from the 2021-22 budget, which came in at $4,572,770, or an increase of 6.21%.

Steve Culhane, business manager for the Mitchell School District, said he did not expect an increase for taxpayers despite the increase in budgets

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“The owner-occupied tax levy is determined by the state (and) is decreasing from 3.153 to 3.048. Thus overall school property taxes will not increase unless assessed valuation has increased for a property owner,” Culhane said.

Culhane noted that salaries were increased by 6% throughout the district, thanks to an increase in state funding, along with other expenses, like health insurance and dental insurance, coming up by only 2% and 5%, respectively.

“State aid has increased by 6%, thus our percentage of state dollars is increasing again,” Culhane said.

Culhane said the district is budgeting other expenses in the capital outlay fund at $1.1 million for spending on textbooks, software, equipment, building and site improvements. The details of those expenditures are expected to be presented at an upcoming meeting of the board.

He also projected the fund balance in capital outlay to be at around $7 million, of which $1 million this year will be set aside for future use on the new high school project in the coming years.

In the district special education fund, the 2022-23 proposed budget shows a total of $5,203.959. That is an increase over the $5,056,048 from the finalized budget from the 2021-22 school year, or a 2.92% bump.

The Mitchell Technical College preliminary budget came in at $29,066,689 for the so-called main fund. That is a 14.47% increase over the $25,392,214 set in the actual budget for fiscal year 2022.

Culhane said that the board is expected to finalize its 2022-23 budget at its second meeting in June, currently scheduled for 5 p.m. June 27, also at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy.

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School lunches

During the budget presentation, Culhane noted that federal funding that provided free school lunches to all students during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to end next year. That means those students who wish to take part in free or reduced meals will again need to fill out an application to qualify.

“The federal government at this time has told all school districts to return to pre-pandemic activity. They will no longer fund lunches for all. Thus, we will go back to free and reduced lunches for those that qualify,” Culhane said. “We will determine in the near future what the price of school meals will be for next school year.”

Joe Graves, superintendent of the Mitchell School District, said he believed that the board had not increased lunch prices for about five years.

Personnel

The board approved the following personnel moves:

  • The new certified hires of Mercia Schroeder, Spanish teacher at Mitchell Middle School and 6th class assignment, $49,653 teacher compensation, $4,966 6th class assignment compensation and Madison Miller, middle school oral interp, $495, both effective 2022-23 school year.
  • The new classified hire of Connor DeRouchey, CCC/computer aide, $12.75 per hour, 7.25 hours per day, effective Aug. 17.
  • The transfers of Taramee Paulson, paraprofessional at L.B. Williams Elementary to paraprofessional at Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary and Charlene Hilekmeier, paraeducator at Longfellow Elementary 7 hours to paraeducator at L.B. Williams Elementary. Both transfers are effective for the 2022-23 school year.
  • The resignations of Kari White, food service at L.B. Williams Elementary, effective April 25; Nicole Hohn, RN at Mitchell Middle School, effective May 2 and Brooke Brummett, paraeducator at Mitchell High School, effective end of the 2021-22 school year.
  • The new MItchell Technical College hires of Amy Gough, adjunct CCT 221 summer 2022, $2,250; Julie Gross, adjunct ENGL 110 summer 2022, $2,250; Julie Hart Schutte, adjunct SOC 100 summer 2022, $2,250; Sarah Ellis, adjunct COMM 210 and SPCM 101 summer 2022, $4,500; Anne Kelly, PSYC 101, summer 2022, $2,250; Scott Kortan, adjunct MATCH 104 summer 2022, $2,250; Annika Russell-Manke, adjunct BUS 122 summer 2022, $2,250; Ryan Van Zee, adjunct BUS 170 summer 2022, $3,000 and Shirlyce Weisser, adjunct MOP 221, MOP 230 summer 2022, $4,500. All hires are effective May 16.
  • The Mitchell Technical College resignation of Connie Schroeder, director, effective June 30.

Other business

Also at the meeting, the board:

  • Approved revisions of Mitchell Technical College policy series 1000-1200 on second reading.
  • Considered changes to the elementary handbook for the 2022-23 school year.
  • Heard board member reports.
  • Heard the superintendent report.

The next meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education is scheduled for 5 p.m. on May 23 at the Mitchell Career & Technical College.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at ekaufman@mitchellrepublic.com.
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