School District Ends Year With $8 Million In Bank


By Jon A. Brake

Remember at the start of the year the Manhattan School District was in deep trouble because they had lost 300 students and the State Funding would drop and we would not have the money needed to run the school in 2001 and 2002? Do you remember?

If you look at the 2002 Manhattan School District Budget you would think they have all kinds of money. That's because they do have all kinds of money. In 2002 the Budget for the District is $54,666,783 that is $4 million more that 2001. The 2001 Budget was $50,916,419, in 2000 it was $48,520,008.

Look at the figures to the right. The Cash Balance on July 1, 2001 was $8,294,807. In years past if the District had $1 to $3 million on June 30 it would be spent or transferred.

Did the District cut our taxes? No, they cut the mill rate by ..05% which impressed some but the total taxes levied will go up $706,000. In 2000 the Taxes Levied was $9,995,065; 2001 it was $12,006,899 and in 2002 it will be $12,707,583. This is the amount of money the District receives from local property tax.

In the past two years the citizens of Manhattan has replaced four Board Members. The old Board had told everyone in 1994-95 that the District was growing and we needed three new schools. The citizens voted more than $25 million to build the schools and the district student count has dropped for the past eight years.

We need for the new Board Members to take the district in a different direction. We have lost 1,000 students and the number will continue to fall. The 2003 Budget should do the same.

This year the Board approved a contract for a new Superintendent for more than $140,000. That is more that two University Presidents in Kansas makes. We need to give the new Superintendent full support but the Board made an error with that contract. And form there all contract went up 3 to 7 percent. When will it stop?