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Racine Unified property owners next year will see a 7 percent decrease in the school district portion of their property taxes.

Property taxes will fall between $60 and $80, a budget summary on the school district’s website outlines, from $10.63 per $1,000 of assessed value to $9.89 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Chief Financial Officer Marc Duff gave his presentation to the Board of Education last week, and board members are scheduled Oct. 31 to vote on the budget.

“I’ve been here for quite a number of years and I am extremely impressed with everything that’s included in this budget – and that we have all of it with a seven percent tax cut,” he said at the meeting.

Some highlights of what’s included in the budget:

  • $1.7 million in department budget cuts
  • 19 new teaching positions
  • 20 new education assistant positions
  • 16 new administration positions (7 certified; 9 uncertified)

Renovating the Sturtevant SportsPlex to house the REAL School is also part of the budget. Some of the money to pay for the work comes from a delayed property tax payment from the Village of Sturtevant totaling more than $873,000.

The school district bought the building earlier this year for $5.2 million and is expected to open in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

All told, the district’s budget is $300.5 million for 2016-2017, down 10.3 percent from the 2015-2016 school year, a story from The Journal Times reads, of which $216.9 million is allocated for instructional purposes.

State education aid is increasing; from $163 million to $173 million, the story continues, and construction projects like new schools Knapp Elementary and Olympia Brown and the addition on Gifford came in on time and under budget.

Some items that Superintendent Lolli Haws defines as priorities but are unfunded include:

  • Digitalizing records
  • Increase in substitute teacher pay
  • 4 elementary school counselors/social workers
  • Continuing to replace furniture
  • Effectiveness coaches for teachers

The Board of Education will meet at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at the in the Mygatts Board Room at the Administration Services Building, 3109 Mt. Pleasant Street.