April 8—CEDAR RAPIDS — In his new budget, the cedar rapids The school district is setting aside more money to cover future storm damage to its buildings, as its insurance company is raising its premiums and setting a much higher deductible for wind and hail damage.
Homeowners insurance premiums have increased in Iowa from the August 10, 2020right caused billions of dollars in damage in the state and damaged every building in the cedar rapids School District.
The district’s property insurance premium has increased from $2.1 million this year at an estimate $2.5 million in the new fiscal year, according to David Nicholsonthe district’s chief financial officer.
In addition, the district’s property insurer — EMC insurance — has increased the deductible to a $75,000 per building for wind or hail damage, he told the school board last month.
“If we had had that and the right happened, impacting all of our buildings, it would have been about $2.6 millionNicholson said. “This is a big change.”
After entitlement, he said, the district paid only one $10,000 deductible to cover damage to all of your buildings.
In response to those changes, the district is setting aside an additional amount $888,000 in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023: enough to cover the higher insurance premium and higher deductible for wind or hail damage on eight school buildings. There are 31 school buildings in the district.
“Hopefully, we don’t have another right that affects every one of our buildings,” Nicholson said. “We will raise a little bit more each year to build that balance in case something significant happens.”
The school board is considering a $317 million budget for fiscal year 2023, which begins 1st of July and finish June 30, 2023. That’s a 1 percent increase over this fiscal year’s budget.
A public hearing on the draft budget is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 14at the Educational Leadership and Support Center, 2500 Edgewood Rd. NW.
The budget proposes a school property tax rate of $14.71 for $1,000 of the taxable value of the property: a decrease in value this year $15.36 for $1,000 and one of the lowest school property tax levies in Eastern IowaNicholson said.
For the owner of a $200,000 home, that equates to a decrease of about $132 a year in cedar rapids school property taxes.
Student enrollment declines continue to affect the district, which had 16,086 students in October, a decrease of 750 students from 2020.
Some students who were previously in the district openly enrolled in the University Community School District or the Marion Homeschool Assistance Programdistrict officials say.
The Iowa Legislature earlier this year it approved a 2.5 percent increase in state supplemental aid — the amount of per-pupil funding a school district receives. District officials said the increase is not keeping up with inflation and costs, especially in districts losing enrollment.
The district is also budgeting $2.6 million to begin designing and building an annex to arthur primary, 2630 B Northeast Ave.. An additional of $10 million will be set aside to complete that project.
Once the new school is finished, the Arthur and Garfield Elementary School assistance areas will be combined, the cedar rapids the school board voted last month. garfield is in 1201 Maplewood Dr NE.
The money for the construction and payment of the revenue bonds comes from the state’s 1 percent sales tax, called SAVE, or Ensuring Forward Vision for Education, which funds school infrastructure projects.
District officials plan to spend $14 million in federal funding to continue to address learning loss that occurred when schools closed and students went to remote learning during the pandemic.
The funds were awarded last year by the Emergency Relief Fund for Primary and Secondary Schools approved by Congress at the height of the pandemic.
The district has received $50 million on those federal pandemic funds, which will be spent over four years.
The district spent $17.1 million this year’s award on learning loss, technology and instructional materials; heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements in schools; mental health support; and school bus attendants.
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