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School board approves budget for 2020-2021 school year

School board approves budget for 2020-2021 school year

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Beatrice Public Schools’ budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year is nearly $34.6 million, which was approved by the Board of Education following a public hearing Monday evening.

The board also approved a tax rate of $1.076283, which is slightly less than the $1.080347 rate from last year’s budget.

Superintendent Jason Alexander explained that while the operating budget shows a 12% increase, it’s deceptive due to the district refinancing Quality Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund bonds. He said the new interest rate for bonds is 1.07%, and the gross savings of refinancing over the accumulation of the bond payment, is $330,841.

Alexander said the district learned in August that total property valuation was certified at nearly $1.25 billion, a .14% increase from last year. The district’s property tax budget request is roughly $12.32 million.

BPS will receive roughly $6.23 million in state aid. Alexander said the cost per pupil for the district is $12,458, noting that it has always been lower than the state average, which this year is $13,184.

“I think that says a couple things,” Alexander said. “It says that the district is very frugal with how it manages its money, and it’s also very cognizant of its size and capacity for revenues coming in.”

Alexander said the district underspent the 2019-2020 budget by $585,000, and the 2018-19 budget by $$699,000. He said the goal is to build up three to four months of cash reserves to be used for needed building repairs, upgrades, and position ourselves for a large building project in the future.

The board approved $773,737 of the budget towards the district’s building fund.

“That time is coming, folks,” Alexander said. “Our buildings are 50 to 60 years old…The building starts to age after that long, so we’ve going to have to address that. We can start planning for that now by putting some money into the building fund, which hopefully will offset some of those costs and prepare us for what we know is inevitable in the future.”

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