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Given the fact that growth in the county and property values are increasing, why isn’t there enough money to increase salaries out of the operations budget?

Basically, the population growth and increase in property values is offset by a decrease in the millage rate, as set by the Legislature each year. If the millage rate remained constant, growth in the county and increases in property values would allow the district to increase salaries and pay for increased costs, such as health care, fuel and supplies. However, each year the legislature and the governor (not the school board) set the district’s millage rate in the state budget. For example, the district’s current millage rate is 3.56 mills. In 2010, it was 5.346 mills.  Those annual reductions have cost the district more than $657 million over those years. So growth isn’t paying fully for growth. That’s why the district can’t keep up with inflation or provide competitive compensation for teachers without voter approval. Even if the proposed 1 mill passes, the millage rate will be lower than the 2010 level.