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Newscast 3.25.24: Sioux City School Board making moves towards finalizing budget; NAIA women basketball tourney heads to semi-final round Monday; Options could expand near Sioux City airport

North Middle School
Sioux City Community School District
North Middle School

The Sioux City School Board members will carry out key steps in their Monday meeting towards setting the budget for next year.

In the meeting that begins in the downtown office at 6 p.m., the members will take important steps toward setting the property tax levy rate and discuss all the fund categories towards setting the Sioux City School District budget for the 2024-25 year

The current proposal for the school district budget of more than $200 million dollars is that the property tax levy will drop slightly.

The board will also set April 8 as the date to hold a public hearing about the next year budget finalization, although members of the public can speak about the budget or any topic in any school board meeting.

In other news, the Iowa Legislature continues to handle proposals that impact school financing, such increasing the pay for starting teachers and changing the longstanding functioning of regional Area Education Agencies that provide a lot of specialty services that many smaller school districts can’t provide on their own.

Both the Iowa House and Senate have passed differing versions of the AEA restructuring. Governor Kim Reynolds has touted support for changes by some Okoboji-area superintendents. However, Osage School District Superintendent Barb Schwamman (SHWAH-mun) said the district would spend more on local services if they controlled the state money that currently flows directly to the AEAs, and she doubted they could find enough quality personnel to fill the posts.

In other news, the women’s national basketball championship for NAIA colleges is playing out in Sioux City, and on Monday evening the two semifinal games will be played.

The first of the games is at 6 p.m. at the Tyson Events Center, when two teams from Montana, Providence and Carroll, square off. That will be followed by Cumberlands of Kentucky, playing the Siouxland team of Dordt University.

Dordt (33-2) is the highest remaining seed in the field, after a 3-point win Saturday over another Siouxland team, Briar Cliff of Sioux City. That quarterfinal game was played before an estimated 2,000 fans.

The championship will be played Tuesday evening, as the two winners from tonight move on.

Additionally, the Sioux City Council members in their Monday late afternoon meeting will consider a measure that could open the door to a developer building a hotel and convenience store close to the Sioux Gateway Airport.

A council memo says the city could sell the land tract for $1.4 million dollars to Midwest Hotels LLC.

The memo says the move would eventually benefit the city by increasing the property tax base and provide economic development. If the council sells more land, there are also proposals for housing near the airport, which is located west of Interstate 29 near Sergeant Bluff.