The Gretna Public Schools Board of Education met Monday, hosting special budget and tax request hearings before approving the 2021-2022 budget and tax rate.
The general fund, or main operating budget, is set at $72.5 million. With $11.6 million budgeted for the bond funds and $157.3 million in the special building fund, the total budget is $241.5 million.
The $5.1 million — or 7.63% — increase to the general fund can mostly be attributed to an increase in salary and benefits. GPS added 29.5 new certified staff positions for 2021–2022. Harvest Hills Elementary also opened this year, calling for additional classified staff positions including custodians and secretaries. Utility costs also increase any time the district adds a building.
Personnel costs make up more than 82% of the annual operating budget, with 17.75% dedicated to operations.
The tax rate total is $1.435057 per $100 of valuation, a 1% increase. The owner of a $250,000 home can expect to pay $3,587.64 in taxes to the school district.
Also at its Sept. 13 meeting, the board:
Approved a resolution calling for the early redemption of a portion of the district’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015, Series 2017A and Series 2017B. The board then approved a resolution to authorize the issuance of Taxable General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series 2021, for the purpose of refunding a portion of the District’s General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015, Series 2017A and Series 2017B, in order to achieve interest cost savings.
The refinancing of these bonds is expected to cut interests rates nearly in half, saving the district more than $1 million in interest through the remaining life of the bonds.
The board then entered executive sessions to discuss land acquisition.
The next regular school board meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 27 at the administration building, 11717 S. 216th St.
The board meets the second and fourth Monday of each month.