Monroe Schools levy asks to keep up finances

MONROE — The Monroe School District is asking voters to continue a local education levy for another four years.
The local school levy contributes about 15% of the district’s budget to bridge a funding gap for programs and services not covered with state dollars.
The levy money helps pay for a larger number of school nurses, teacher aides, counselors and other positions than what state funding covers. It also pays for many extracurricular programs.
The education levy would cost an average of $1.72 per $1,000 in assessed property value each year for the next four years.
If voters approve the levy measure, next year the district’s overall tax rate would be approximately $2.70 per $1,000 in assessed value.
For someone with a $400,000 home, the levy would represent about $685 of the whole $1,080 bill for local school district property taxes.
If voters decline, it puts the district in a pickle.
“If 15% of our budget was lost, the district would have some difficult decisions to make in order to present a balanced budget to the Board in August,” district spokeswoman Tamara Krache said. “As a general rule, we try to keep the reductions as far away from the classroom as possible, but losing 15% of our budget would make that significantly harder and in most cases, impossible.”
About 91% of the levy money would go toward salaries and benefits of these positions, Krache said.
Ballots are due Tuesday, Feb. 8.