Jenna Loveless and Todd Smith

Louisiana School Board President Jenna Loveless and Superintendent Todd Smith.

LOUISIANA – The value of the property base supporting Louisiana public schools shrank substantially this year.

Last year, the assessed value of the district fell by $875,000. This year’s drop was substantially higher: a loss of $5 million.

That loss means $215,000 less for the district, Superintenent Todd Smith told Louisiana R-II school board members at their meeting Monday.

“We didn’t quite see that coming. I figured not everything would go down,” Smith said.

A few big property-owners made up a large portion of the decline in assessments: a drop of $2.5 million for Calumet; almost a million dollars as Massman Construction moves out of its construction site at the Champ Clark Bridge; $380,000 for Charter and almost $300,000 for Speed Commerce.  The district has already passed a preliminary budget for the next school year, in the knowledge that it would need to be adjusted in September to accommodate information about the district’s assessment.

The Board also voted to change the date of their next meeting from Monday, Aug. 19 to Tuesday, Aug. 20 to accommodate the district’s back to school open house.

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