Dear Central Families and Community Members,
As a conscientious steward of taxpayer funds, the Central School Board takes great pride in its responsibility. The Board is committed to keeping property tax levies as low as possible and has been successful in this endeavor – many years without any increase at all – looking to taxpayers for funds only as a last option. By establishing sound District policies and through prudent financial management, the Board has set a vision for world-class, child-centered excellence, while focusing on reducing non-instructional costs.
The Board lends its support to the District in pursuing the refinancing and restructuring of bonds to lower interest rates, which has resulted in significantly lower annual bond payments and lower property tax levies for taxpayers. This year alone, the District has renegotiated contracts for transportation, insurance, and employee health insurance costs, and leveraged technology to reduce energy and utility costs, as well as lowered annual maintenance costs with more sustainable products.
It is important to know that state funding makes up 72.5% of the annual operating budget, while federal funds account for only 1.9%, and the remaining 25.6% comes from local funding. Of the 25.6% local funding, nearly two-thirds come from voter-approved referendum funding with the remaining local levies based on formulas set in statute and approved by the School Board.
Our “Promise to Voters” in the 2019 levy is always at the forefront of our decision making and we are tremendously proud of our ability to keep that promise to you and grateful for your trust in us. For last school year, these are the final results of the ISD 108 levy promise:
Since the passing of the voter-approved operational levy in 2019, the District has met the spending targets for the categories listed above each year. This past year, the actual expenditures in the curriculum area were lower because the math program was up in the renewal cycle and we had already updated the math curriculum in 2016 and just need to refine it rather than purchase all new materials. The balance will be carried over to be reserved for language arts and social studies curriculum in the coming years.
The Board Finance Committee reviews district financials on a monthly basis. That group is made up of Kyle Strickfaden, Treasurer, Sara Eischens, Board Chair, and me as superintendent.
I am proud to say, the Central School District is in a sound and financially stable position. While other public school districts have had to cut programs in difficult times, our District has been able to maintain, grow and thrive thanks to your support and the diligence of a strong and dedicated School Board. Thank you again for your trust in us.