MAPS board approves 2019-20 budget

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Area Public Schools Board of Education on Monday approved the general fund budget for the 2019-20 school year.

The board approved an operational millage of 18 mills of ad valorem taxes to be levied on non-principal residence, non-qualified agricultural, non-qualified forest, non-supportive housing and non-industrial properties, and 6 mills of ad valorem taxes to be levied on commercial personal property.

A mill is $1 on each $1,000 of taxable property value.

The school district is looking at total revenues of about $34.15 million and expenditures of about $35.66 million for 2019-20. Roughly $1.5 million has been set aside in equity to make up the difference between revenues and expenditures.

MAPS Assistant Superintendent Deb Barry, who specializes in district finances, addressed enrollment projections.

“It’s interesting to note that the trends of the enrollment projections mirror the trends of our equity,” Barry said. “This is a huge factor in the financial health of our district.”

Enrollment for 2018-19, she said, was 3,289, with next school year’s enrollment expected to be 3,198.

“It’s important to note from that 3,289, it’s not that we’re losing 100 students overnight,” MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders said. “We’ve actually lost 30 FTE (full-time equivalent) in students from fall to winter count. That happened within the course of the existing school year.”

Barry said projections run fall to fall, but the state aid formula is 90% from the fall count and 10% from the previous spring count.

Enrollment projections are 3,186 for 2020-21 and 3,206 for 2021-22.

Barry said the district is looking at a per-pupil state foundation allowance of $8,051. Also, the enrollment blended count is 3,201.45.

“When we have the 3,198, that’s taking 90% of that and 10 percent of our spring count to come up with a blended count,” Barry said, “and that’s what the state will fund us for the $8,051 per pupil, after they break out what’s the local portion.”

Barry said the district, following the 2019-20 school year, will end with a fund equity to expenditures of about 16%, with 15% projected for the following year.

The school district’s fiscal year begins on Monday.

In other business, Saunders discussed grade school student number ratios to teachers. Based on current enrollments, Sandy Knoll Elementary School has an average of 23.3 students per teacher while Cherry Creek Elementary School has an average of 20.8 students per teacher.

Graveraet Elementary School’s average is 22.83 students per teacher, and Superior Hills Elementary School has an average of 20.16 students per teacher.

“These are the lowest numbers that we’ve had in probably the last 12 to 15 years,” Saunders said. “Good for us in education moving forward.”

All the teachers are in general education.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.