School Funding Basics
School District Operational Funds (General Fund) - The day-to-day operational fund for the school district. This account pays for all employee salaries and benefits, supplies and equipment, utilities, insurance, busing, etc.
The main source of funding in the General fund is the State’s per pupil payment, which is determined by the legislature. For the 2016-17 school year, the district is guaranteed $9,646 per pupil. This dollar amount is a combination of direct state aid and a local contribution equivalent to the dollars generated by 60 general fund mills (general fund levy). An additional source of revenue is the miscellaneous levy.
- General Fund Levy – School Districts are required to levy a minimum of 60 general fund mills to support the state per pupil payment, with a maximum allowable levy of 70 mills. Note: Dollars collected in the general fund can only increase by 12% in dollars per year. This can result in a district not being able to get to the minimum levy of 60 mills. Mandan is affected by this provision; our current general fund levy is 55.93 mills. Mandan will be required to increase this levy by 12% per year until we are at the 60 mill minimum levy. Every dollar collected from this tax is deducted from the state per pupil payment to Mandan Public Schools.
- Miscellaneous Levy – Schools may levy up to 12 mills under this levy. These dollars are deposited in the general fund. This levy is not subject to the 12% cap. Mandan currently levies 4.67 of the 12 allowable mills in the miscellaneous levy.
These local levies along with the state’s contribution to the per pupil payment account for 91% of the revenue in the general fund. The majority of the remaining 9% is federal, state or local funding restricted for a specific purpose.
School District Non-Operational Funds - These dollars cannot be used for operational expenses (Salary, Benefits, Supplies, Equipment, etc...)
- Building Fund Levy - Mandan voters approved an 18 mill building fund levy many years ago. We currently levy 18 mills. These dollars may only be used for capital improvement and building projects.
- Sinking & Interest Fund Levy – This levy is only used to pay off the debt incurred to construct buildings that were built after a vote of the people (e.g. original MMS building and Red Trail Elementary).
- Special Assessment Fund Levy – This levy must be used to pay city specials for infrastructure improvements (e.g. streets, sidewalks, curb and gutter, water and sewer, etc.).
FY17 MPS Tax Levies Mills Levied Dollars Collected
General Fund 55.93 $ 6,394,793
Misc. Fund 4.67 $ 534,343
Building Fund 18.00 $ 2,058,188
Sinking & Interest Fund 19.69 $ 2,250,931
Special Assessment Fund 3.02 $ 345,481
TOTALS 101.31 $11,583,736