By MARK GRUEN
Royall School District superintendent
We have heard from a number of you regarding your tax bills going down. Thank you on behalf of the Royall School Board and staff.
We would like to give you a small warning that we expect it to take a small tick upward next year due to varying factors. But we are also in line for more revenue due to the increase in per-pupil aid for 2018–19, so maybe not.
It should be noted that for the fourth year in a row, we will not have to short-term borrow. The district used to pay more than $25,000 in interest annually for short-term borrowing. In the past four years, we have been receiving about $8,000 in interest due to our stable fund balance. Our fund balance was $1.7 million on June 30, 2017. This was after spending over $800,000 on our new elementary roof and our new high school performance center. Needless to say, we are very proud of our progress and accomplishments.
For those of you who did not make it to the school board’s annual tailgate party, where we had a pretty specific financial handout and a presentation, I would also like to point out that we have accomplished and paid for close to $2 million in projects and equipment in the past seven years within our Fund 10 budget. We have applied for, received, and spent close to $3 million in grants and $775,000 in donations. This is on top of our energy-exemptions project that also totaled over $2 million.
Lastly, I would to remind you that we also have invested more than $1 million in our staff members’ health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). I know: It totals more than $8 million and is almost mind-boggling. We hope you are getting a grasp of why we are so proud.
All that said, we want to thank you for your trust and patience as we deal with your second-most-prized possession after our children. Our administrative team and school board continue to make improvements in the areas of instruction, building and facilities and technology while staying focused on stabilizing our finances well into the future.
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I have reserved from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12, for my next lunch with the superintendent. It is very simple: Join me for lunch to discuss whichever topic you choose, such as budgeting, scheduling, staffing, or even politics. I would appreciate it if you would call to let me know you were coming so we could plan for the appropriate space. I am also willing to come to you with information. Please give me a call and let me know where you would like to meet, when you would like me to attend, and what to prepare for, and I will be there.
See you at school.
Gruen can be reached at (608) 462-2600.