Property owners in the Atlantic Community School District will get a break on the amount the District will ask for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year. Last March, the School Board approved a 10-cent increase per thousand dollars taxable valuation for the Certified Budget based on zero-percent allowable growth. The rate was set at $14.41 per thousand. During Monday night’s meeting of the Atlantic School Board however, Superintendent Mike Amstein said there’s some good news. He said the actual tax rate will be $14.25 per thousand dollars valuation, or 16-cents less than what was anticipated.
The decrease is a result of action by the Iowa legislature and Governor Branstad, which approved setting per pupil student aid (also called allowable growth) in a 2-2-4 formula for the next two years. That’s 2 percent added to the base plus a one-time payment equal to 2 percent for next school year and a 4 percent increase in fiscal year 2015.
In other business, Atlantic School Board approved a Technology Plan for 2013-2014, with the stipulation it can be amended and/or adjusted as needed based on financial or other circumstances. Earlier this year, Technology Coordinator Roger Warne presented the Board in a work session, with a preliminary plan for upgrades and renewal of equipment. During last night’s meeting, Warne said he received some good news which will help to reduce his costs.
He said Apple Computer has reduced the price of its laptops and other computers for the districts 1-to-1 computer program. The cost went from $147,000 to $121,000. And that even includes 5 additional computers. Warne said also, a key component of the technology program is the districts wireless system. The revised plan calls for spending $80,000 for all three of the district’s buildings instead of $280,000.
The reduction in cost comes from changes in technology and what the actual prices were as opposed to the initial estimates. Warne said the current Technology budget for 2013-2014 is $182,000 instead of the proposed $215,750. The 2014-2015 budget is expected to come in less than anticipated as well, due to improved technology and moving some projects for that year to the current school year, based on costs.