Monday, June 27, 2011

School Breaks Even on 2010--2011 Budget

The Worth County School broke even on its 2010-2011 budget and passed a budget for the 2011-2012 school year that outgoing Superintendent Matt Robinson hopes will turn out a $62,000 surplus if everything breaks right. “We ended up close to where we thought, but not to where we wanted,” he said. The school dealt with budget cuts by the state as well as getting only half of the stimulus money that they thought they would get. Interest from deposits went from $68,000 a few years ago to $12,000 annually now and transportation funds took a big hit as well.
On the plus side, the state is starting to recover from record revenue drops and Robinson said that education was lucky compared to other areas of government like highway funding. If the school becomes eligible for Small Schools money, that could mean another $150,000; however, the school will not get it next year.
The school will now be giving ACT tests at the school. Teacher Clella Goodwin reported that it went very well and that students were much more comfortable taking it with their friends instead of being separated from their friends like they are at the university. The school will be able to give it every time next school year except for September. 22 Worth County students took the test at the school. Students from other schools can take the ACT at Worth County; one each from Albany and South Harrison came to take the test.
Junior High cheer practice will start next month; they had tryouts this month.
Robinson addressed a new rules change by the government regarding the School Lunch Program. A new rule states that students who are not eligible for free & reduced lunches should pay the same amount that the government is paying to subsidize free and reduced lunches. The new guidelines recommend that all schools raise lunch prices 5 to 10 cents every year until they get to the rate that the government pays for free and reduced lunches. The other alternative would be for the school to prove that they are not using government funds to pay for students who are not eligible.
The school cannot use 2% milk anymore; they must either use 1% or skim milk. California is already ahead of the curve; they have dropped everything but skim milk. The changes do not affect school breakfast or lunches for staff. The board voted 6-1 to raise school lunches by ten cents; Karen Fletchall voted against, saying she preferred a 5 cent increase.
Board President Jubal Summers presented a plaque to Robinson in recognition of his service to the school at the close of the public meeting. Incoming Superintendent Mike Rennells attended the meeting and got acquainted with board members and staff.
The board held an extended closed session at the start of the meeting; normal closed sessions last from 15-30 minutes; however, they held a 50 minute closed session to discuss personnel issues before opening their public session. In the one personnel move the board made, they voted to pay the preschool director a $1,750 stipend for work that they were already doing. At the start of their public session, the board added a closed session item following their open session to continue discussion of personnel matters. During citizen’s comments, Sheila Hunt addressed the board telling them that they were accountable to the voters, that they needed to seek the truth and not just believe what they were told. All school board meetings are open to the public and there are public comment periods near the beginning of each meeting where members of the public can address the board. Following the end of the public session, the board went back into closed session.
The board held a special meeting on June 9th at 8:00. The board went into closed session at that time to discuss personnel matters; they were in closed session for approximately one hour. Following the closed session, the board voted 5-0 to offer LaCosta Rennells a probationary teacher contract for the 2011-2012 school year. The board also voted 5-0 to accept the resignation of Jim Spiers.

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