School District May Be Looking at Opt-Out

Newell News

NEWELL-During the Newell School Board Meeting, Interim Superintendent Don Kirkegaard brought out the possibility of an Opt-Out proposal for the school district. He took time to explain what it could mean to taxpayers and the school.

According to Department of Revenue information, “opting out is to impose an excess levy above any current limitations.” If a school district cannot operate on the revenues generated by the maximum allowed for the general or capital outlay funds, set by county tax levies, then the school district may choose to opt-out of the limitations.

The General Fund is funded through local levies on property taxes and monies from state aid as determined by the funding formula. If a school district decides to opt-out of the general fund, the excess levy will maintain the same proportion for each land class, i.e. Ag, Owner Occupied, and Other/Commercial. Each land class will have its own levy.

Kirkegaard offered an example of the tax impact for an Opt-Out for a school district needing $300,000. An example of the impact for Opt-Out could be as follows:

Property Taxable Value Levy for Proposed Opt-Out Tax Impact per $100,000 of Opt-Out Total for $300,000


Ag Value $200,000 0.435 $86.92 $260.76
Owner Occupied $200,000 0.973 $194.52 $583.56
Other Value $200,000 2.013 $402.55 $1207.65

Opting out requires a two-thirds vote of the school board. The decision must be published within ten days of the decision. The Board’s decision may be referred to a vote if a petition is signed by at least five percent of the registered voters in the school district and filed within 20 days of the first publication. The Opt-Out will be for a five-year program.

The Board will make the decision at the April Board meeting to be held April 8 at 6 p.m.

A contract was approved with Meade School District for Payroll and Accounts Payable through June 2024. The cost of the contract is $12,000 per month.

The school will co-sponsor the summer swim program with the Newell Community Club. They will also co-sponsor the All School Reunion set for August 8, 2025.

The contract for the MS Wrestling Coach, HS Wrestling Coach, and the MS Head Football Coach was not renewed for 2024-2025. Dylan Keszler was hired as 2024 Golf Coach. Thomas Barrera was hired as MS Assistant Track coach to work with shot and discus throwers.

Also, the Board approved the fall football schedule as a JV Team. The team will be considered JV due to the small number of players this fall. The schedule will be set for two years. The team will not be eligible for play-offs.

Resignations from Ag Teacher Tracy Austin, Music Teacher Adhara Malunes, and K-12 Principal Steve Schoenfish were accepted.

The Special Education teacher contract was offered to Macy Shupick. Her hire will fill the SPED staff.