The Keokuk School Board has approved the district’s certified budget for the upcoming school year.
Business Manager Greg Reynolds says the budget requires a roughly $0.30 increase in the property tax rate.
He says the district must increase the rate to make up for a shortfall in the current special education budget.
"Then we also increased the levy for our drop-out prevention/at-risk program," says Reynolds, "so we are planning to increase services for students next year."
Reynolds says the overall budget for the 2014-2015 school year is projected to be $500,000 in the red due to decreased enrollment and increased educational costs.
He says the school board is expected to talk about how to address the shortfall next month.
The Keokuk School District is open to the idea of sharing its most valuable assets with some of its neighbors.
Business Manager Greg Reynolds says Keokuk has been talking about allowing some of its faculty and staff to also work in the Harmony and Van Buren School Districts.
“They have some needs," says Reynolds. "They really don’t need a full-time person so they are looking at other districts to see if they have a need in similar areas.”
He says the positions they are interested in include foreign language, guidance counseling, art, music and food services.
The Keokuk School Board has signed off on the district continuing these discussions.
Reynolds says the agreements could call for a Keokuk employee to spend one or two days each week in Harmony or Van Buren or for Keokuk could split the cost of a new employee with them.
He says there is no timeline in place for the agreements to be completed.