Members of the Leavenworth Board of Education propose to keep the school district's property tax levy flat for the 2017-2018 budget.

Members of the Leavenworth Board of Education propose to keep the school district's property tax levy flat for the 2017-2018 budget.

Board members voted unanimously Wednesday to schedule a public hearing on the proposed $52.9 million budget and publish information about the budget in the newspaper.

The public hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Aug. 23 at the school district's administrative office, 200 N. Fourth St. Board members likely will vote to approve the budget after the public hearing.

The budget was prepared by district staff. It was reviewed Wednesday by Chief Financial Officer Kevin Gullett and Beth Mattox, director of accounts and reports.

"We're recommending that we keep the mill levy flat," Gullett said.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes.

The proposed 2017-2018 budget keeps the school district's mill levy unchanged from the previous school year at 63.325 mills.

With the publication of budget information in the newspaper, board members still have the option of lowering the mill levy when they meet Aug. 23. But they will be unable to increase the levy.

Board President Mike Carney asked Wednesday about the possibility of lowering the mill levy.

Gullett said the most he feels school officials can reduce the mill levy is by 0.5-1 mills.

"It's insignificant in the big picture," he said.

A new state formula for funding public schools will provide a base aid of $4,006 per student.

Gullett said there has not been a per pupil base for the last two years because the state government used a block grant system to fund schools.

The district last received a base aid of $3,852 under an old state formula during the 2014-2015 school year.

Gullett said the state's base aid is supposed to increase to $4,128 for the 2018-2019 school year. And after that, increases are supposed to be based on the consumer price index.

But Gullett noted the Kansas Supreme Court has not yet ruled whether the new funding formula is constitutional.

Gullett said it is unclear when the state's highest court will issue a ruling.

The budget was the only issue board members took up during a work session.

Following Wednesday's work session, board members had a special meeting to tour various school facilities.

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