CEDAR FALLS — Cedar Falls Community Schools is seeking increased budget authority for dropout prevention programs.

The Board of Education on Monday approved submitting an application for $855,139 in modified allowable growth to the state’s School Budget Review Committee. The money would be part of a $1.27 million 2018-19 budget for seven programs. They serve students at risk of dropping out as well as returning dropouts.

“The district creates programs that we can use to help support these students and keep them on track to graduate,” Dan Conrad, secondary education director, told the board.

Among those programs are mental health services, alternative program/behavior intervention center, academic supports — reading, credit recovery/skills recovery programming, juvenile court services liaison, school resource officer and student support services.

Based on the district’s current assessed property value, the modified allowable growth request would boost property tax funding for dropout prevention programs from 44 cents to more than 45 cents per $1,000 of taxable valuation. “It would result in a tax increase of a little over a penny,” said Conrad.

Doug Nefzger, chief financial officer, said the amount of increase could change, depending on the growth of next year’s property tax base. “It’s a possibility it will be a decrease, but we won’t know that until January,” he noted.

The budget also will include additional at-risk funding allocated by the state, projected at $120,518, and $10,239 in carryover funds from the current school year. Another $285,047 would come from existing district dollars. “As the law requires us, 25 percent of our total budget must come from the general fund,” said Conrad.

In other business, the board held a public hearing on proposed improvements to the high school track, at an estimated cost of $165,000. In response to comments from two residents, Superintendent Andy Pattee explained why officials hope to resurface it while also developing plans to build a high school in a new location, noting other options also were considered.

“A track that is resurfaced is going to last seven years, hopefully eight years,” he said. “We think that it is certainly going to have a very useful life for the next seven years.”

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Waterloo Schools / HCC Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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