JCPS school board approves $1.4 billion working budget - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS school board approves $1.4 billion working budget

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education approved a $1.4 billion working budget for the 2015-16 year -- a budget district officials say prevents painful budget cuts, maintains all investments in direct student instruction and avoids a tax rate increase.

But the vote wasn't unanimous. Board member Stephanie Horne urged her fellow board members to not approve it.

"I'm new to the board so this has been a real learning experience (for me)," Horne said. "I feel this budget is just more of the same instead of bold new actions and changes to improve and attain our vision. More of the same is not what our students want and need."

The working budget -- recommended by Superintendent Donna Hargens -- is the last of three budgets approved by the school board this year.

“This budget directly aligns with our top priorities for our students’ education and development," Hargens said. "We’ve taken a hard look at what works and what doesn’t, and we’re investing in our proven successes. Our community expects us to be smart stewards of these funds. We’re living within our means, but we’ve found ways to maximize these limited dollars to give our students the best possible instruction and equipment.”

This year's budget includes approximately $1.1 billion being funded by the general fund. 

Overall, nearly $800 million of the general fund -- or approximately 70 percent -- of the district's budget goes directly to schools. About 26 percent (about $295 million) goes to school support, which includes transportation, special education teachers and support personnel and the remaining 4 percent (about $45 million) goes to business offices, which includes finance, human resources and the central office.

"Today, more than three out of every four dollars from the JCPS general fund are spent directly in classrooms and school buildings," Hargens said.

In August, the school board voted to approve Hargens' recommendation not to raise taxes this year.

The tax rate remain 71 cents per $100 of assessed value, which means the owner of a $100,000 home would continue to pay about $710 in property taxes to JCPS. This is the same rate as the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.

PREVIOUS | A look at JCPS' $1.4 billion budget - how is the money spent?

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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