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De Pere school board discusses preliminary 2021-22 budget

By Heather Graves

DE PERE – De Pere Business Manager Dawn Foeller updated the school board on the 2021-22 preliminary budget at its meeting last month.

Foeller said the budget shows the district’s anticipated revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30 the following year.

The preliminary tax levy would be just over $17.1 million, an increase from $16.7 million last year.

The preliminary mill rate is $6.56, an increase from $6.52 last year.

Foeller said there are still some uncertain issues – including the state budget, federal stimulus funds and wage increases – but Monday’s approval allows spending to begin July 1.

“You can see that I did not add any increase to our per-pupil amount,” Foeller said.

The final numbers will come in October.

Other business

The board gave the go-ahead for the district to enter into a special education occupational therapy services cooperative contract with the West De Pere school district to meet the growing needs of students.

Administrators said the agreement is a win-win for both districts.

It allows De Pere to add a .2 full-time equivalent (FTE) position.

West De Pere is then able to increase that individual from a .8 to a 1.0 FTE.

De Pere’s estimated cost is $18,300, which will be funded from a federal special education grant.

Trustees also approved a request to change the food service assistant manager position from a school-year position to a 12-month position to accommodate the increased workload.

Administrators said the position was created when the district was only participating in the National School Lunch Program and has steadily grown since to include three federally funded feeding programs, the Bird’s Nest Cafe and the De Pere High School breakfast delivery food cart.

“The position has certainly expanded since its induction,” Foeller said.

She said the change will cost approximately $9,686.

The school board approved several district grounds and equipment improvements.

Projects include tennis court resurfacing at the high school, refrigeration upgrades at Foxview Intermediate School, replacement of the pavement in the bus parking lot and student play area at Altmayer Elementary, two new carpet cleaning machines for Heritage Elementary and De Pere Middle School and the removal and replacement of curbing, pavement and crosswalk at the middle school.

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