October 31, 2021 – Kewaskum, WI – The Kewaskum School District Board of Education approved the 2021-2022 budget.
The budget, which totaled $28,665,976 (an increase of .56% from 2020) included revisions from the preliminary budget based on a decrease in student membership, a decrease in the parochial voucher tax, and an increase in grants the district received.
Last year’s budget was $28,506,883.
Two of the major grants in the budget included a $51,069 mental health grant to train teachers and counselors on how to best meet the increased mental health needs of students and a $180,262 COPS grant to upgrade the district’s emergency radio equipment and the schools’ public announcement systems.
The mill rate for the Kewaskum School District is $7.02, which is down $0.48 or -6.45% from last year.
The District’s enrollment number of 1,787 increased by 36 students from last year’s September 3, 2020 count.
The Kewaskum School Board also approved keeping the school district levy of $11,299,763 the same as it was the previous year. By keeping the levy flat, the tax burden related to the school district will not increase.
Because of the district’s fiscal responsibility and use of levy management strategies, the Board was able to allocate extra funds to either prepay the district’s debt or lower potential tax increases in the future.
“I’m excited to see the Board take a very proactive approach to using the levy to prepare for the future. Many districts are utilizing levy management as a way to either lower the district’s debt and save future interest payments or to relieve future tax increases that may come in the state’s next biennial budget,” said Dr. Mark Bazata, District Administrator of the
Kewaskum School District.
This year’s budget includes the use of federal COVID-19 relief funding (ESSER). “Because the State of Wisconsin will not be increasing revenue limits, which determines districts’ budgets, for the next two years, districts have been forced to use the one-time ESSER funds to pay for rising costs. Unfortunately, these funds do not address the long-term financial challenges of districts across the state,” said Bazata.
According to Bazata, the Kewaskum School District will be paying down the debt as follows:
- $207,492 would be available to pay down the debt in 2025 if it isn’t used to relieve the tax burden before then.
- In Fund 38 the Kewaskum School District will be paying down $238,447 in March 2022, which will leave $1,622,227.
- In Fund 39 the Kewaskum School District will be paying down $1,140,000 in March 2022, which will leave $24,040,000.
Community members are encouraged to visit the district’s website under the About US page if they would like to share their input on the district’s use of ESSER funds.