School Finances

School Finances
Posted on 10/30/2014

On Monday, October 27, 2014, the School District of the Menomonie Area Board of Education approved the updated budget for the 2014-2015 school year and set this year’s school tax levy.  While total spending this year is projected to be much higher than a typical school year due to the ongoing building projects, the total school tax levy will only be increased by 2%.  Since the overall equalized property value in the school district also increased, the tax rate will actually drop from $10.66 per thousand dollars of property valuation last year to the current rate of $10.64.  Owners of property that maintained equal value over the past year would realize a slight reduction in property taxes levied by the school district.

As noted in a previous column, the school board has control of most school district expenses, but increasing state and federal mandates and new expectations related to technology, curriculum, and instruction continue to absorb more of the budget.  The large majority of school district revenue is comprised of the local tax levy, state aid, and some funding from the federal government.  Nearly all of the district’s revenue is controlled by state revenue limits that are dependent on student enrollment.  The school tax levy is largely affected by state aid, which is mostly determined by property valuation, enrollment, and prior year spending in Menomonie and the rest of the state.

Most school district expenses are related to educational staffing, student support services and activities, transportation, technology, community education opportunities, and ongoing facility operations and improvements.  Some other major expenses included in the 2014-2015 school budget include updating the curriculum materials used for teaching math in grades K-5, providing more network access at Knapp Elementary School needed for basic operations, communication and instruction, and providing ongoing professional development and training for our staff.

Officials and staff in the Menomonie Area School District continue to look for ways to increase efficiency and allocate as many resources as possible to the direct instruction of students.  On Monday evening, the school board also approved switching health insurance carriers and modifying the plan design to reduce expenses for the school district.  Employees who wish to continue with medical coverage outside of a more direct discounted network will make new contributions to cover the difference between the basic offering and more expensive option that includes a broader network of providers.

Should school stakeholders have any questions about the school district budget, I invite you to visit the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue or contact me at 715-232-1642.  More information about our schools can be found on the school district website ( and on Twitter (