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The Benefits of the Physical, Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL)

North Scott Community School District maintains PPEL tax rate

August 29, 2017

The Benefits of the Physical, Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL)

School funding in Iowa is a very complicated subject. Our different funding sources can only be spent on items that the law allows; we call these silos. Iowa offers very little flexibility in taking money from one silo and moving it to another.  In this article I want to explain the  Physical, Plant & Equipment Levy (PPEL) and the benefits to the school district.

The PPEL funds are used for capital purchases and upkeep of buildings which allows us to maintain and improve our current facilities. The North School Community School District has seven school buildings, a central office, bus garage, and a  maintenance facility. Each of these facilities require ongoing maintenance. The larger cost maintenance projects include roofing, HVAC, and boiler replacements. As our buildings get older, we need to remodel certain areas to bring them up-to-date. For example, the remodeling of every restroom has been taking place throughout the school district for the past several years and will continue for a couple more. The district purchases all of its needs for the building and grounds departments for items such as equipment like mowers and floor scrubbers which are very expensive items.  As I have pointed out, these funds are essential to maintaining and extending the life of all district facilities.

Our ability to maintain all of the technology in the district depends on PPEL. The North Scott school district is entirely wireless, has a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio for grades 6-12, a 3:1 student-to-computer ratio for the elementary level, and nearly all classrooms have interactive whiteboards. As a district, we believe it is important to incorporate technology into our teaching and provide the technology tools needed to our students that will help them be successful in life. This has all been made possible because of our PPEL funding.

The district’s transportation department is also supported by PPEL. The district is able to purchase three new school bus replacements every year from PPEL funds which allows us to maintain our fleet of over 30 buses. Bus repairs are also paid for out of this fund. Our district is 220 square miles, so transportation is a large budget.

Many of the expenses that I have pointed out in this article are necessary every year.  If we did not have PPEL, we would need to use our General Fund for these expenses which would then take money away from educating our students.  

Iowa and the North Scott Community School District are fortunate to have PPEL. Our district is proud that we have maintained the same PPEL tax rate for years and we do not have the highest rate as allowed by law. Our PPEL rate is the lowest in the Quad Cities. This funding source has been approved and supported by our taxpayers for over 30 years. Thank you for supporting the North Scott Community School District!

 

Sincerely,

Joe Stutting

Superintendent of Schools

North Scott Community School District

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