Germantown's third Friday count dips slightly from last year

District discusses possibility of additional state aid, decreased levy

Oct. 15, 2013

Germantown — The Germantown School District's third Friday in September student count was on the mark.

The third Friday student count, which is sent to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and used for revenue controls, came in as projected at 3,905 students, according to School District documents. This student count translates into an allowable increase in state imposed revenue limits of $472,953, which is an unchanged line item from the budget approved by the electorate at the annual meeting in September.

The third Friday student count for 2013-14 shows a 2.06 percent decrease compared with the 2012 third Friday count. Last year's third Friday count totaled 3,987 students.

Director of Business Services Ric Ericksen presented changes to the equalized tax rate to the School Board on Monday. Compared with the information presented at the annual meeting, the equalized tax rate decreased by a penny, from $10.19 per $1,000 of equalized value to $10.18 per $1,000. Equalized value was projected to increase by 0.13 percent, which translated to the minimal difference in the tax rate.

The final budget and tax levy are supposed to be approved at the School Board's next meeting on Oct. 28. The levy certification deadline is Nov. 8. Ericksen said the School Board should stay tuned in coming weeks because that deadline may be extended this year as Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature are currently in talks about putting more money into the school aid formula in an effort to reduce local property taxes. Should Germantown end up receiving more state aid, the levy would decrease as a result.

"Right now we are at the will of the state," Ericksen said.

For now, final budget adoption is scheduled for the next board meeting. Should the state decide to allocate additional funds, Superintendent Jeff Holmes said they may have to table the item and call a special meeting in November to approve the budget. It is unclear whether the deadline to certify the levy will be extended by a week.

Ericksen said he hopes a decision at the state level will be made in the next seven to 10 days.

Despite the 82 student decrease in students, which make up the third Friday count, enrollment in the district continues to fluctuate every month, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Human Resources Cynthia Coley said. As of Monday at the School Board meeting, enrollment was down 62 students year-over-year.

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