The Janesville School Board on unanimous 8-0 votes approved a $127.26 million budget and $46.99 million tax levy for the 2021-22 school year at its meeting Tuesday night.
Chief Financial Officer Dan McCrea presented the budget plan and discussed the many factors that influence the budget. He said district membership, which is made up of all school-age students who live in the district, including those who enroll and attend school in other districts, is key to school budgeting.
“Membership drives the district’s revenue limit,” McCrea said before Tuesday’s meeting. “Within a district revenue limit is local taxation, as well as equalization aid.”
Key variables the district considers when formulating the budget include enrollment, revenue limits, equalization aid, the tax levy, mill rate, equalized property value, staff salaries and benefits, debt services and the beginning fund balance.
The district spends its money on many things—support services, social workers, school psychologists, speech language therapists, physical therapists and library services—but the majority of the budget goes toward instruction.
“The good news is our open enrollment, which is where students come into the district as well as students who leave the district, is better than it was last year in the height of the pandemic,” McCrea said. “More students want to come to the school district of Janesville than students who want to leave the school district of Janesville.”
Enrollment includes all students while membership includes all Janesville School District members who attend or open enroll out. September 2021 total membership totaled 9,033; the enrollment figure was 9,468.
The revenue limit identifies how much revenue a district can generate through state equalization aid and the local tax levy.
The equalization aid changes for the Janesville School District was an increase of $1,836,722 from $64,744,038 in 2020-21 to $66,580,760 in 2021-22.
Federal funding also played a part in this year’s budget. The latest round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding was enacted Jan. 3 and included $16,665,748 for public school use.
The approved tax levy for 2021-22 was $46,994,704, a net increase of $4,621,409 from 2020-21. The tax rate is $8.75 per $1,000 in equalized value, up from last year’s rate of $8.48 per $1,000. At the new rate, the school district portion of the tax bill on a home valued at $200,000 would be $1,750 for the year.