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Board Meeting Report - March 19, 2024

The Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District (the Board) met on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. You can watch the meeting on our YouTube channel.

2024-25 Preliminary Property Tax Rates

During recent Board meetings, Business Administrator Alan Kearsley has presented parts of the proposed 2024-25 budget. During this meeting, he spoke about the certified tax rate and property taxes. The certified tax rate is set by the state and is designed to provide the same amount of tax revenue as the year before. If home values go up, the certified tax rate goes down to produce the same revenue as last year. School districts have the option to increase their portion of property taxes if the rate set by the state will not meet their needs. Mr. Kearsley does not anticipate any need to change the certified tax rate for the 2024-25 school year. He predicts taxpayers will see a 1.92 percent decrease in their tax rates from the previous year. This means if you have a $100,000 home and the value of your home does not increase, you would pay $4.18 less in property taxes.

Next up, the executive summary and the final review of the district’s proposed 2024-25 budget will be presented to the Board during its meetings in May, with an anticipated Budget Hearing on June 4, 2024.

UTA Buss Pass Use

During 2022-23 school year, the Salt Lake City School District (the District), the Salt Lake Education Foundation (the Foundation), Salt Lake City (the City), and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) started a partnership to provide free bus passes to every district student and staff member.  In 2023-24, the program was expanded to provide one free pass per family for a parent or guardian. Foundation Director James Yapias and UTA Manager of Fare Strategy Kensey Kunkel reported that since this partnership began ridership among students has grown approximately 600 percent, the equivalent of taking about 157,000 cars off the road. The passes have also helped support attendance at school events and access to community resources.

Mr. Yapias thanked the Board for their willingness to be part of this program. The Foundation, the District, UTA, and the City are currently in the process of reviewing the program for next year.

School Closure and Boundary Adjustment Transition Activities Update

Our Superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth Grant, gave the Board an update on the most recent transition activities related to school closures and boundary adjustments.

  • The number of Open Enrollment applications nearly doubled this year, with 1,376 individual students submitting applications, sometimes to multiple schools.
  • The Teaching and Learning Department is doing an inventory of curriculm materials at the schools affected by closures or boundary adjustments to make sure we have the needed materials available as students move to other elementary schools.
  • After Spring Recess (April 1-5), schools will focus on hosting more activities to welcome new students and to create a smooth transition for students changing schools. Our schools that are closing are also working on celebrations to honor their schools.
  • The district has been working with families at the YWCA to provide them a choice of schools for next year. Students at the YWCA will be able to  attend Ensign Elementary, Liberty Elementary, or Wasatch Elementary, and the district will provide busing to those schools.

Early Childhood/PreK Education

The district’s Early Childhood and PreK Department has been providing quality education and kindergarten preparation to young children for nearly 30 years. Today, our early childhood programs serve nearly 450 children (ages 0-4) at 15 schools.

Our teachers focus on getting students ready for school, meaning they know the academic basics, have a willing attitude, and are self-confident in the learning process. Our teachers are highly trained and use developmentally appropriate teaching methods to yield the best outcomes for our students. In addition to focusing on academics, our students also receive dedicated lessons to help them develop social and emotional skills. These efforts led to the Utah State Board of Education declaring our early childhood and PreK program a High Quality Program in 2015.

Testing data and information gathered from our kindergarten teachers confirm that children who enroll in our early childhood classes are more prepared for kindergarten, both academically and socially.

Pre-registration for 2024-25 early childhood and PreK classes will begin on April 16, 2024. Please see our website for more information: https://www.slcschools.org/departments/early-childhood.

2024-25 Student Fee Schedule and Board Policy S-10 Student Fees and Fee Waivers

After holding its second public hearing, the Board approved the 2024-25 Student Fee Schedule and Policy S-10 Student Fees and Fee Waivers, as well as the administrative procedures for that policy.