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Looking 'Inside the Numbers' at area schools PDF E-mail

Editor’s note: The cost of teaching the area’s children how to read, write, add, subtract and become life-long learners has escalated in recent years, as has the cost of living and doing business.
As local school boards and other government entities conducted their annual budget hearings, it became apparent just how dramatic some of the numbers have changed. The News-Register staff dedicated some time and effort to help digest a decade’s worth of financial data, charting some key statistics and then asking local officials to help review the changes. A major factor, as you’ll see in the graphics published for the four area schools, is the dramatic rise in property valuation.

Here is the introduction to our “Inside the Numbers” series, which focuses this week on Aurora, Hampton, Giltner and High Plains schools.

AURORA  -- Aurora School District 4R’s budget has increased more than $6 million in 10 years and its tax asking has more than doubled.
So, when this year’s budget hearing rolled around earlier this month, it seemed a little out of whack that the tax levy assessed on real estate within the school district dropped dramatically.
See the complete story on Page A3.

HAMPTON  -- A 10-year review of Hampton Public School’s financial history suggests that the rural district survived some tough times in recent years, when reserve funds and money for annual building maintenance were virtually non-existent.
Those were tense times, Supt.  Holly Herzberg recalled, noting that the  outlook during this year’s budgeting process was drastically improved.
See the complete story on Page A6.

GILTNER  -- In just the last six years, the Giltner school district has been able to cut its total tax levy by a whopping 65.0213 cents per $100 valuation, with two of the biggest cuts in the last two years.
The total tax asking has seen some fluctuation, going from roughly $1.145 million to $1.47 million in 2006-07, steadily up to nearly $1.827 million in 2011-12, down to $1.774 million in 2012-13 to this year’s request of $1.8 million.
The reason for that? The value of land in the Giltner district spiked more than 33 percent just from last year to this year.
See the complete story on Page A7.

HIGH PLAINS -- High Plains Community Schools’ property valuations from its five counties has more than doubled in a decade, continually dropping the levy to its lowest level this year.
High Plains’ total levy is 71.9716 cents per $100 valuation. In 2004, the levy was set at 97.62 cents and has been more than $1 at times in the last 10 years.
See the complete story on Page A10.

 
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