FD schools instructional levy up for vote

The Fort Dodge Community School District board will vote on a resolution to continue an instructional support levy Monday .

The board-approved levy uses local tax dollars for educational programming and other general fund expenditures, according to Brandon Hansel, FDCSD director of financial services.

“The instructional support levy is an optional levy available to local school boards by which they can levy up to 10 percent of their regular program district costs,” Hansel said. “That is the number of students times the state cost per pupil.”

The board does not aim to increase the levy, Hansel said, only renew it.

“For the past several years it’s been set at 8 percent of the regular program district costs and the board really doesn’t see any need to change that,” he said. “We just want to be able to have an option to continue that for the next five years.”

He added, “It’s a vehicle for local school boards to supplement the state aid we get for additional funding the local board feels we might need to support our kids.”

The levy is not related to the physical plant and equipment levy approved by voters in January.

“That was entirely different,” Hansel said. “This is a board-approved levy, where the board can just, by their action, approve it for five years. The voted PPEL was obviously a matter that went to the public in an election.”

The ISL is not a separate levy, though, Hansel said.

“It’s part of the total school district tax levy, just like the voted PPEL is. For this next fiscal year it’s $15.45 and the ISL represents approximately 71 and a half cents of that,” he said.

The support has been a part of the district’s budget for the last 10 years, Hansel said.

“A lot of what we do is already built around receiving those monies on an annual basis,” he said. “And so the board feels a continuation of that ISL levy, especially in the current budgetary environment the state has put us in, will be a benefit to the instructional program as a whole.”

The school board will meet at 6 p.m, Monday in the board room at the Central Administration Office, 104 S. 17th St.