The 2019-2020 budget of the Montello School District was presented at the annual meeting on October 22. The mill rate will go down 71 cents this year to $8.203 and the tax levy is at $5,385,464, down from $5.7 million last year.
Other important points were the total indebtedness being $4,691,627 as of June 30th, 2020 and a stable enrollment in and out.
Superintendent Margaret Banker gave a presentation of the budget alongside some highlights of the items and comparisons to other schools in the Trailways Conference. The bond rating Montello has received is an A+ S&P Global scale, noting that the low debt and healthy fund balance put the district into that classification.
Enrollment has remained steady, with its open enrollment average trending lower over the past five years. The most recent year of 2018-2019 has a sizable decrease of 3.05%. Banker said it was, “A sign of sustainability and community confidence.” Comparing themselves to other schools in the Trailways Conference their enrollment was similar.
Banker reminded everyone that Montello is property rich, but our wages are fairly low for our taxpayers and thus not a lot of money comes in. It costs $12,875 to educate each student with only $4,154 of total revenue coming from the state. All funds for the 2019-2020 budget broken down will be: 76% going to the operational budget, 13% going to special operations, 6% to debt service, and 3% to food service. This past year, over $275,946 in grant funding was received and the state report card went from “meeting few expectations” to “meeting expectations” in the first time in a decade. Also, High Marq Environmental Charter School achieved WI Green Schools status.