Kaukauna School Board passes 2022-23 budget with 4% salary increase

KAUKAUNA — A preliminary budget for the Kaukauna Area School District shows a balanced budget for the 2022-23 school year, but a projected shortfall of nearly $700,000 for the 2023-24 school year.

The Kaukauna School Board voted Monday night to unanimously approve the $60.5 million draft budget for the 2022-23 school year.

The numbers may still change before final approval in October, but the district plans to use more than $2.5 million of its $4.5 million in federal pandemic relief funds to balance the budget 2022-2023. School districts received three waves of pandemic relief money beginning in March 2020 that must be used by September 2024.

That will leave $622,000 in federal pandemic money to use for 2023-24, which won’t be enough to balance the projected budget, leaving the district with a projected shortfall of $681,000, according to documents on the website. of the district.

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The budget voted on Monday allows the district to continue operating at the start of the new fiscal year. A formal review of the 2022-23 budget will take place in October, when the tax levy will also be set.

The preliminary budget forecasts a tax levy of $12.1 million, a decrease of $350,000 from the previous year. This would reduce the tax rate by 43 cents, from $7.04 per $1,000 of property value to $6.61 per $1,000.

Focus on rising spending

Regular Education Salaries: Between a 4% salary increase, staff additions and retirements and resignations, there is an increase of $470,000 or 2.2% over the previous year in the preliminary budget.

Special Education Salaries: As with regular education, special education salaries are expected to increase by $630,000 or 12.3% over the prior year in the draft budget. This includes a 4% salary increase. Much of the increase is due to unfilled educational assistant positions that were removed from the 2021-22 operating budget and added for 2022-23.

Health insurance: The health insurance budget for January to June 2023 has increased by 5% following the announcement by WEA Trust of the discontinuation of its health insurance offers. With the costs of special education benefits, $330,000 was added to next year’s operating budget. The district is reassessing next steps to obtain a new insurance company for calendar year 2023.

Construction: The budget includes $1.37 million in construction costs for the new Tanner Early Learning Center office area and the driveway and entrance to River View Middle School. The project at Tanner cost $800,000, about 30% more than expected.

Contact AnnMarie Hilton at [email protected] or 920-370-8045. Follow her on Twitter at @hilton_annmarie.

William M. Mayer