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SFSD Looking Ahead To 2014

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The Sioux Falls School District is already looking ahead to next year’s budget, finding ways to improve the district in the coming years.


On Monday night, the School board approved the preliminary budget plan, a plan offering a lot of growth, but it didn't sit well with everyone.


It all comes down to crunching the numbers, ultimately to keep up with the needs of a growing community, the school board is looking ahead to increase their budget.


If the budget passes, it could mean a 5.5% increase in property taxes.   

"We are for smaller government and for being frugal, we live frugal," said Johnson.


Linda Johnson, a Sioux Falls resident and substitute teacher in the district, said she and her husband are still feeling the effects of the recession and as the cost of living continues to climb, she doesn’t agree with a property tax increase for city homeowners.


"I don't care if I get a substitute teacher increase, as long as they leave our taxes where they're at," said Johnson.


School Board President Douglas Morrison said the board is always mindful of the total impact to the property owner and in this case, he said much of the increase can be blamed on changes being made in Pierre.


"We feel that we've been good stuarts of the taxpayers money we don't raise our taxes unless we have to," said Morrison.


Although it’s not a choice many members are happy to make, they’re in favor of increasing the quality of education in schools.


School board members say next year’s budget will focus on providing teachers’ pay raises, programs to help students who are struggling with reading and a new technology initiative that could grant every student in the district an iPad or Chromebook.


For Johnson, the proposed property tax increase would have a major impact on finances and she’s hoping others in the same situation will speak out.

Final approval for the school budget is set to take place July 8th.

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