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Tax rates are declining in MHS district

MENDOTA — There is good news for taxpayers in the Mendota High School district.

Superintendent Jeff Prusator told the school board Monday the proposed levy would reduce the tax rate by 21 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. Rates have declined a total of 57 cents since 2017. The board will hold a “Truth in Taxation” hearing at 6 pm on Monday, Dec. 16 to discuss the levy.

Also Monday, Russ Rumbold of Gorenz and Associates presented the 2019 audit report. The audit showed total revenues of $6,265,991 and total expenditures of $5,971,480. Rumbold said the district’s financial profile score is tentatively 3.65 which is classified as Financial Recognition — the state’s highest financial profile designation.

Rumbold said, “Evidence-based funding has been good for most districts and is overall a positive thing for this district.”

The estimated operating expense per student at MHS is $14,289 which is lower than the state average.

The curriculum committee met in September and October. There was one new course proposal — for an agriculture construction class. This advanced course will focus on the knowledge, hands-on skills, and workplace skills applicable to construction in the agriculture industry. Major units of instruction include: personal safety, hand tools, power tools, blueprint reading, surveying, construction skills in carpentry, plumbing, electricity, concrete, block laying, drywall and painting.

Science graduation requirements will remain at two years with one year of biological science and one year of physical science. This proposed language will allow students to take either biology I or agricultural science offered through the agriculture department to fulfill the graduation requirement.

Biology II was changed to advanced placement biology. AP biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students can take the AP Biology exam and earn college credit. AP biology and physics will now be available for students who have taken chemistry I honors and chemistry I In the past, students enrolled in chemistry I were not afforded this enrollment opportunity to advance their science curriculum.

Joe Hughes was hired as a science teacher effective in the 2020-21 school year. Hughes will replace Brian Blumhorst, who is retiring at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

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