Janesville school budget on Tuesday agenda

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Frank Schultz
Friday, October 4, 2013

JANESVILLE—The public will get a first look at a draft of the Janesville School District's 2013-14 budget when the school board meets Tuesday, but no numbers were available Friday.

The board will be asked to approve the draft budget so that it can be presented at a public hearing Oct. 29, Chief Financial Officer Keith Pennington said.

Pennington said the budget document was not complete Friday, so numbers were not ready to be released.

Pennington said he expected no surprises or big changes from earlier budget indications.

Pennington estimated in July that school property taxes could rise by 1.7 percent, or about $19 on a house valued at $114,000.

Pennington plans a 30-minute presentation on the budget, which is listed at the end of the Tuesday's meeting agenda.

The board's final budget approval and setting of the tax levy are scheduled for Oct. 29, Pennington said.

Recent meetings have lasted well over two hours, and Tuesday's meeting could also run long. It includes a number of items that might elicit extended board discussion. The agenda includes:

-- Approval of changes to the district policy governing gifts to the schools. This item is on the consent agenda but could be pulled out for discussion.

-- An update on the Janesville International Education Program from Superintendent Karen Schulte. A presentation on a “winter institute” for Chinese students in January and February also is planned.

-- Presentation of a new plan to improve reading scores for students with disabilities.

-- Presentation of changes to high school graduation requirements, which require students to complete more courses. Students graduating in 2015 will add one credit to the current 22.5. One credit will be added each year until 26.5 credits is reached, for the Class of 2018 and thereafter. The changes are part of a larger plan to increase academic rigor at the high schools.

The board will be asked to approve the graduation-credit policy changes Oct. 29.

-- Discussion and approval of board goals for 2013-14.

The board also plans to meet behind closed doors to get an update on negotiations with the teachers union.

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