The 2016-17 General Fund budget is $32,126,334 and the district’s current total mill levy is 65.289. The district mill levy is broken into 4 funds: General 20 mills, Capital Outlay 8 mills, Local Option Budget (LOB) 11.203 mills and Bond Debt/Interest 26.086 mills. Since 2009, Andover Public Schools has reduced its operating budget by more than $5 million. The district has also reduced summer school offerings, field trips, maintenance, building budgets, coaching positions and other expenditures to continue giving more to the classroom. In 2014-15, Andover was ranked the fifth most efficient district in per-pupil spending in the state. The most up-to-date cost per Andover student is approximately $10,754, and 19 percent of this cost is debt service to bonds and interest.
Though our general fund has been extremely tight, we are pleased that our current outstanding bonds are scheduled to be paid off by September 2019. As of July 1, 2007, the district had $99,755,000 in debt, but in the last nine years it has aggressively paid or refinanced $58,955,000. While all of USD 385’s issues have been paid in a 10-15 year term, most Kansas districts average a 15-20 or even 30-year payoff term. Andover has a current bond indebtedness of $40,800,000 and makes approximately $13 million in payments a year. State Aid is covering 46 percent of the debt issued for our current bonds. Legislation states that any new debt incurred by the district would receive 24 percent State Aid. One thing to note about bond dollars is that state statute requires funds levied (26.086 mills) by the district to be used only toward paying off annual principal and interest payments of issued bonds.
USD 385 provides an excellent return on investment and our responsible debt management hasn’t gone unnoticed. Moody’s Investors Service recently upgraded the district’s bond rating to Aa3 from A1. The change reflects a higher credit quality and a lower level of credit risk from years past. It also shows the district’s improvement in liquidity and reserves. The report, released on August 2016, cites the district’s strong socioeconomic indicators, stable and increasing tax base and nearness to Wichita as a few of the reasons for the upgrade.