A proposed budget totaling $40.3 million for 2021-22 in the School District of Fort Atkinson was advanced for presentation to electors at the annual meeting Aug. 19.

At its regular meeting Thursday, board of education members voted unanimously to forward the proposed spending plan.

To fund the budget, an accompanying property tax levy totaling $18,825,053 will be submitted to electors for approval at the annual meeting. The levy amount is up 4%, or $723,401, from this year’s levy of $18,101,652.

The projected tax rate for next year is $10.96 per $1,000 of equalized property valuation, up 15 cents from the current year.

Director of Business Services Jason Demerath presented the preliminary budget for the upcoming school year at last month’s regular board meeting.

The projection from the district’s April 2020 referendum planning, he said, included a $75 per pupil increase on the revenue limit and a $75 per pupil increase in categorical aid.

However, based on the state’s 2021-23 biennial budget — recently signed into law by Gov. Evers — as opposed to getting $75 per pupil in each of these two revenue sources, Demerath said the district in this budget will see no increase in allowable revenue from the state for local public schools.

The business director also looked at the preliminary tax levy projection.

“We are projecting a tax levy in the general fund ($17,852,453) of about $200,000 less than 2020-21,” Demerath noted. “That $200,000 has moved down to the Non-Referendum Debt Service line to pay the debt costs for the high school energy efficiency and maintenance projects.

“We then project a tax levy of $772,600 for our referendum debt payments, of which we only have a couple of years left of payments,” he added. “This results in a total tax levy of $18.8 million which translates to a projected tax rate of $10.96.”

Also Thursday, the board:

• Approved the following full-time appointments, effective at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, and contingent upon release from current contracts, and upon completion and satisfactory results of the preplacement health screenings and background checks: Mike Czerwonka, social worker at Fort Atkinson Middle School; Jessica Ehlers, grade 1 teacher at Luther Elementary School; Tracey Koeppen, English Learners teacher at Purdy Elementary School; Kimberly Kerr, grade 1 teacher at Luther Elementary; and Stephanie Ramer, social worker at Fort Atkinson High School.

• Approved the transfer request, effective at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, for Brenda Noll, from full-time cross-categorical teacher at the high school to full-time behavior interventionist at Luther and Rockwell Elementary schools.

• Accepted the resignation request of Manson Morris, full-time mathematics teacher, effective at the end of the 2020-21 school year. He was thanked for his five years of service and dedication to the students and community.

• Approved the agreement of a 1.23% Consumer Price Index pay increase with the Fort Atkinson Education Association (FEA) for the 2021-22 contract year, contingent upon FEA ratification.

• Adopted the following academic standards to be in effect in the School District of Fort Atkinson for the 2021-22 school year: Mathematics: Wisconsin Standards for Mathematics; Science: Wisconsin Standards for Science; Reading and writing: Wisconsin Standards for English Language Arts; and Geography and history: Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies.

School administration also notifies parents and guardians of district students of these board-adopted academic standards.

• Approved as extensions of board policy and for use in the upcoming school year the general and supplemental student/parent handbooks for Barrie, Luther, Purdy and Rockwell Elementary Schools, Fort Atkinson Middle School, Fort Atkinson High School, Fort Atkinson High School Athletic Code of Conduct, and special education procedural safeguards.

• Approved the district’s 2020-21 seclusion and restraint report.

• Approved conducting the August board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 19, starting at 5:30 p.m., just prior to the annual meeting.

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