By Ken Ross
The Aurelia School Board approved a budget last week for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, that shows a significant decrease in property taxes.
The total property tax rate will be $11.41 per $1,000 valuation, down $1.22 from the present rate. The breakdown of the tax is $9.88 for general, $1 for the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy and 53 cents for management levy (for certain insurance and certain non-salary payroll expenses).
Part of the decrease results in the amount that the district levies to meet the state's partial funding guarantee, an amount allowed by the state to be levied locally to stabalize the district's revenue in the face of declining enrollment over the last few years.
There has also been an increase in the district's land valuation.
In his financial summary, Tom Vint, superintendent, said that the district is in sound financial condition.
Sue Ireland and Mary Ann DePuma presented a report on the accelerated reading program in grades 3 and 4. The two teachers report that readers are excited about the program started this school year.
Students set goals for themselves and receive rewards both for increasing level of reading and increasing comprehension.
"It meets the needs of all of the students," DePuma said.
Ireland quoted one fourth grader as saying, "It allows me to paint the pictures in my head while I read."
The board approved the establishment of a chess club as an official school activity. Students had made a request at an earlier meeting that the group be recognized and allowed to take part in fund raising activities in order to fund trips. It wasn't an action item on the agenda so the matter was tabled at that time.
Tim Limbert has agreed to be the school sponsor for the club. The club's activities will not cost the district any money.
The board approved a senior trip to Colorado in May. The trip will include white water rafting, a trip to Six Flags and other activities. The board approved providing $500 toward transportation costs.
The board also approved a trip of the Biology classes to the Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
The board approved graduation for 38 students pending satisfaction of all requirements. It is anticipated that all 38 will have satisfied all requirements by graduation time.