District facing another budget shortfall
The preliminary budget numbers are a little better than last year but it still looks like the school district will fall about $248,000 short of balancing the budget this year according to superintendent Stan Kress at the March school board meeting Monday, March 21.
Kress reported the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) of the Idaho Legislature recommended an education budget about $11 million less than Gov. Dirk Kempthorne had requested and $22 million less than what State Superintendent of Public Instruction Marilyn Howard had requested. Kress said the budget again includes no salary increase although there may be a 1% increase in salaries if the revenues come in better than anticipated. They’ll know for sure by the end of June.
Kress said if the things are kept at the same levels as in the past year an override of $248,000 would be needed to balance the budget. This would be $15,000 less than last year’s $263,000 override.
Kress had some good news in that the possible rollback in funds due to the underestimation of the number of classroom units statewide has been averted by transfer of some contingency funds. He reported the State House of Representatives will take a serious look at the task force recommendations this summer since the bill they passed last year to enable the legislature to sue school districts has been ruled unconstitutional.
A resolution was passed setting a school board trustee election for Tuesday, May 17. Up for election are Zones 1, 2 and 5 which are currently held by Roy Schumacher, John Nida and Kelli Bruner. Zone 5 would be for a 1 year term as Bruner was appointed mid-term to replace Steve Frei who moved out of the district.
The school calendar was approved for the 2005-06 school year. The only change in the schedule printed a month ago in the Chronicle is that school will let out one day later for Christmas and start back up one day later after New Year’s Day.
Some assistant coaches from spring sports were approved. Ethan Remacle will be helping with the junior high track while Steve Wilson was approved as assistant high school softball coach and Jerry Uhling as assistant high school baseball coach.
A resignation/retirement request by Kathleen Stubbers was approved.
The safety busing that the district does, involving 62 students, was officially approved. This has to be approved and appear in the school board minutes each year to comply with the state rules on school transportation.
Kress reported he still doesn’t have the specs for the high school and middle school heating projects. If nothing happens in the next week or so he’ll look into going with a different engineer.
Della Gehring will be the school board representative on the negotiations committee along with Kress and the 3 building principals.
In principal reports Rene’ Forsmann reported that there will be a Kindergarten screening April 11-13 and a preschool screening on April 15.
She also reported the ISAT testing will start April 18.
Dave Snodgrass reported he had attended a workshop with 3 teachers and that he will be attending another one April 18-19. The first was on adolescent thinking and learning and the next one will be on writing behavior plans. He hopes that will give them some new ideas on dealing with youngsters who get a little too wild as they hit adolescence.
He also reported the gym is staying busy with 5th & 6th grade basketball winding down. Kelli Bruner asked about rumors of 6th graders on the junior high track team. Snodgrass said they have a few that want to and he has no problems with that.
Bundy reported they held an assembly with the presenters dealing with some of the issues teenagers have. He said they had a lot of positive feedback from the students.
He also reported the junior-senior banquet was held and went very well.
He received a proposal from the high school rodeo club requesting it be made a letter sport. He asked that they present some guidelines and they are printed elsewhere in this week’s Chronicle.
Also the high school will be hosting a Higher Education Day with representatives from the colleges around the state as well as the branches of the military will be here for the junior class. Also several of the other area schools will be invited. Bundy expects about 150 extra students in attendance.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:15 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m.