Austin School Board approves plan to propose operating levy increase as part of the November general election

The Austin Public School Board approved plans at their last monthly meeting to propose an operating levy increase as part of the general election on November 8th.  Dr. Joey Page, Superintendent of the Austin Public Schools spoke with KAUS News and stated that if approved, the $470-per-pupil levy increase would generate approximately $2.4 million annually to help preserve class sizes and programs and stabilize the district’s finances, and he added that the levy increase is being sought because of a potential $3 million budget shortfall facing the district…

Dr. Page went on to state that one of the main reasons for the proposed levy increase is that over the past decade, operational costs have risen significantly faster than education funding from the state, leaving the school district to manage a budget deficit over the past five years….

Dr. Page stated if approved, the new operating levy for the district would still be one of the lowest in the region…

Dr. Page added that voters in the district can go to the referendum website, for more

information which will include a tax calculator, voting information and other resources….

If the referendum is approved, an average home in the district valued at $170,000 will see an estimated monthly tax increase of $12 starting in 2023. The levy would remain in effect for a 10-year term, at which point voters would decide whether to re-authorize the levy or allow it to expire.  If voters reject the referendum, district leaders would need to develop a budget reduction plan that would impact class sizes and student programs.