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While much of the local media coverage surrounding school budgets typically appears throughout the months of April and May, the development of the district’s annual spending plan is a year-long process.

November – December:
The district’s business manager begins developing a rollover budget, an estimate of what it would cost to carry over the same programs and services that were offered in 2017-18 into 2018-19.

During this time, school administrators begin to estimate individual building needs such as staffing, equipment and supplies.

Budget season progresses with several public information sessions led by the district’s business manager.  Community members are encouraged to share their input and ask questions.

January – February:
The governor presents his proposed budget for the 2017-18 school years, including projected figures for school aid.

The board of education, school administrators and business manager will get their first sense of state aid revenues.

The district’s budget development will continue; potential changes and reductions will be discussed and taken into consideration.

March:
Throughout the month, district residents and members of the Board are encouraged to review, ask questions, and voice opinions about the proposed budget.

You should know:
In March, the business manager will submit the district’s tax levy limit to the state. This is calculation that determines how much the district may increase the total amount of property taxes collected without requiring a supermajority of voters for approval.

April:
After months of budget work with district staff and community members, the board of education will come to an agreement for the proposed spending plan.

You should know:
Copies of the adopted budget will be made available for the public and can be obtained mid-April in each school building’s main office as well as the Liberty Public Library.

Absentee ballots will be available beginning mid-April and throughout the month of May.

May:
District residents will head to the polls on Tuesday, May 15.

You should know:
The district’s budget newsletter will be sent to residents during the first week of May.

June:
If the budget is defeated, the board of education may put up the same or a modified budget for a revote or adopt a contingency budget, which allows no increase in the tax levy and restricts certain expenditures. The same rules regarding the district’s tax levy limit apply for a revote.

You should know:
A revote, if needed, is held the third Tuesday in June.
If the budget is defeated, the board of education must adopt a contingency budget.

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