Mohon eyes 2.3 percent levy hike

Teaching staff, coaches slated for cuts; class sizes increases likely

— Mohonasen officials are focusing on how nearly $1.42 million in budget reductions can be achieved after making more than $6.5 million in budgets cuts over the last three years.

School District Superintendent Kathleen Spring presented 2012-13 budget developments within general support, operations and maintenance, athletics, extra curricular activities, transportation and debt service during the Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 5. The district is aiming to stay within the state mandated tax levy cap, with a 2.3 percent tax levy increase. Factoring in around $510,000 in additional tax revenues and $180,000 in projected state aid, the district is facing a budget gap of nearly $1.42 million.

“There is a lot of people out there that are encouraging us to go above the tax levy cap, but we have been wrestling with that because while we would like to do that to secure a lot more positions in the district and not make as many cuts, but it is a lot more dangerous this year,” Spring.

If voters turn a budget down twice, the district would have to adopt a budget with no tax levy increase, which would require almost $2 million in reductions.

“The date that is selected in June (for a revote) … is not a very good time to hold a vote because a lot of people have kind of decided school is over and they’re not here to come in for a vote,” Spring said. “(A zero percent tax levy increase) would be devastating to us.”

The district is looking to eliminate 22 teachers, four support staff and a recently vacated administration position. Also, six coaching positions could be eliminated, which could nix modified and freshman team levels across indoor and outdoor track, boys and girls basketball, baseball and tennis. Spring said the levels to be reduced would also be based on what surrounding districts are cutting.

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