Shakopee High School passing time

Shakopee High School during passing time.

The Shakopee School Board voted Monday to approve a $141.4 million overall budget for the upcoming school year, which is about 2 percent less than last year’s.

The district’s revenue from property taxes is projected to be lower this year, but the district will get additional state aid, $1.35 million in proceeds from a land sale off Lusitano Street, and it’s finally wrapping up the Shakopee High School renovations, which ate up a big chunk of the overall budget the last two years. In other words, Shakopee Schools Finance Director Jeff Priess said, things are looking up for both Shakopee residents and schools.

The median Shakopee home, valued at $273,800, will owe an estimated $1,726 in property taxes to the school district this year. That’s about $57 less than last year.

Most of the money the school district deals with flows in and out of the general fund. This fund is money the schools can choose to use freely. The school district’s general fund is slightly higher than last year, and that’s because of an increase in enrollment, employee contract inflation and increases in operational costs, like utilities.

But the district will also get a 2 percent increase in state education funding, as well as a projected increase in enrollment, since the district gets a certain amount of money per pupil. The 2 percent increase in state funding will increase the per-pupil education aid by $126. State aid is the primary source of revenue for Shakopee’s general fund.

“The Shakopee district relies heavily on state aid,” Priess said.

One significant expense this year will be a roof replacement at Sweeney Elementary, which will take about $1.5 million out of the general fund. Priess said there are no big capital improvement plans for this year, but the district is analyzing data for possible future action.

The last $1.29 million of the district’s construction funds approved by voters to expand Shakopee High School will finish work at the school. The construction fund, which is separate from the general fund, will dry up by the end of this year.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.

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