Board will talk about bus route plan; levy on Aug. 8 ballot
Superintendent Tim Dettwiller sent a letter to parents via email on Friday to share a few updates about the district as summer is in full swing. He said the Board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12 to revisit the plan to implement two-tiered bus routes and details the emergency operating levy on the Aug. 8 ballot. His email is below.

Good afternoon,

As summer unfolds and our families gather for fun in the sun, I wanted to share some light reading for you about what is happening in the district.

First, the board of education approved my recommendation to place a 5.953 emergency operating levy on the August 8th ballot. The levy, when passed, will generate $2,050,000 per year. The additional funds will be used to continue our current academic programming. The cost will be $200 for $100,000 of residential property valuation. The new revenue will fund school operations for 5 years.

Why is $2,050,000 needed? Since 2013 the district has operated under a 10 year financial plan. The plan predicted in 2013 that our General fund would be in the red in school year 2017. We took immediate steps to reduce projected spending to push the deficit out as far as possible. Those budget reductions successfully pushed the projected deficit out to school year 2019. When the emergency levy is passed in August, collections will begin in 2018. This allows for revenues to be received before cuts to programs would be needed for the 2019 school year.

Treasurer Todd Mustain has prepared several graphs comparing our tax rates and certain costs - such as the average teacher’s pay - to other districts. This information can be found on our website at: I encourage you to look at this information. You will see how prudent the district is with your tax dollars.

Second, the state legislature and the Governor have completed the state’s two-year budget. The budget sharply reduced transportation funding for school districts. This reduction in funding makes our planned move to two-tier bussing problematic. If we move to two-tier bussing it will actually cost the district more to operate our student transportation system than under the current program. I did indicate the possibility, when I made the initial recommendation to modify our existing schedule, that everything was on the table and we would need to be flexible in our reaction to the final state budget. As a result, I will make a recommendation about two-tier bussing to the Board during a special meeting scheduled for 6:00pm, Wednesday July 12, in the Elementary building.

As part of our efforts to keep you informed, we will issue a press release, send out another email to all of you and post any change to both the MP website and to the MP Facebook page as soon as the board vote is taken. Again, our primary goal in modifying our transportation schedule was to gain additional funding from the state. Now that those additional dollars are no longer available, we will move quickly and appropriately in reaction to the consequential impact on our funding.

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Have a great rest of your summer!

Timothy W. Dettwiller
Madison-Plains Local School

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