West Central School District 49-7

705 East 2nd Street

Hartford, SD 57033

605-528-3217

activities.png

OPT OUT

KNOW THE FACTS

Voting

MAY 15th

The West Central School Board is asking voters to approve a four year $400,000 opt out.  The school board voted to bring the opt out to a public vote when it approved the opt out at the school board meeting on February 26, 2018.  The public will vote on the opt out on May 15, 2018.

Get the Info - Ask some Questions

Public input sessions are an important step in identifying what stakeholders feel are the

priorities related to student learning in the West Central School District.

Thursday, March 22

6:30 - 7:45

Humboldt Elementary

Tuesday, March 27

6:30 - 7:45

WC High School Commons 

Polling Sites

Tuesday, May 15

7:00 am to 7:00 pm

WC Admin Office, Hartford

Humboldt Elementary, Humboldt

Wall Lake Township Hall

EXAMPLE:  In 2016-2017 (out of a total of 150 districts), 141 schools spent more money per student than West Central.

Money Generated from Opt Out

Impact on Property Taxes

The numbers below represent the additional levy as requested by the School District.
A home owner would pay $62.50 per year for every $100,000 of taxable value of their
property. A farm owner would pay $27.90 for every $100,000 of taxable value of their property.

2016-17 Expenditure Data & Ranking

Comparison of Levies Per $1,000

Schools Opting Out

In South Dakota 40.27% of the public schools have passed an opt out. 

A complete listing of the schools is available at http://doe.sd.gov/legislature/documents/OptOuts-18.xlsx

Actual School Levies for 2017-18

Levy amounts for the General, Capital Outlay, and Special Ed Funds are set by State Law.

Note the decrease between 2017 and 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the opt out?
A: An opt out means that an additional amount of tax revenue is being asked for by a school district in order to help fund general fund expenses.

Q:  Why would the West Central School District consider an opt out?
A:  For the past four years the district has been operating at a deficit.  This has caused the district to reduce its reserves, and to use capital outlay funds to supplement the general fund.

Q:  What steps have been taken to keep the district financially strong?
A:  Budget reductions have been ongoing. The district has chosen to not fill vacated positions whenever possible.  The district is also using $200,000 of capital outlay funds to pay for general funds expenses.

Q:  What is the long-term solution?
A:  The best long-term solution is through growth in the number of students our district serves, and growth in our community.

 

Q:  Will all property classes be taxed equally?
A:  South Dakota law requires that different property types are not taxed at the same rates in an opt out.

Q: Can we charge students to participate in activities?  
A: No, South Dakota law states public schools must provide a free public education. Activities are considered to be part of a public education.

Q: How long will the opt out last?
A: The school board has chosen a four year opt out.  The board would then need to decide if they will renew the opt out.

Q: Is there any kind of oversight on how the school district allocates the money it spends?  
A:  By law school districts are required to have an independent audit.  The purpose of an audit is to ensure the district is spending monies within the limits of state and federal laws. West Central is audited every year.

Q: Where will the new funds be allocated?
A: One hundred percent of the funds will go into the general fund to support teacher salaries and student programs.

Q: If the opt out fails what is the secondary plan for dealing with the deficit?
A: The district will have to make cuts annually to bring the deficit to zero.