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September 11, 2008
Superior school budget up, but levy may drop 3 mils
SUPERIOR, Nebraska (STPNS) -- As required by law, the September school board held two public hearings before the regular meeting. One hearing related to the budget and the second to tax requests.
The districts budget authority increased 2.7 percent from last year. Budgeting authority is set by the state and sets the upper limit of a school's expenditures. Superior's 2008-09 budget authority is $4,399,570.
This year's total budget is $7,134,848. The figure includes "flow through funds" such as a $420,000 activities budget, $247,280 school lunch and student fees. In addition it has a $95,300 special building fund and $102,600 qualified capitol purpose fund.
This year's general fund is $5,915,723. The total local tax asking is $2,211.900, up $64,741 over last year.
However, the overall levy is down from last year because the district's valuation rose approximately six percent. This year's levy was set at $1.079 per $1,000 valuation. Last year's levy was $1.104.
The enrollment as of Monday was 413 compared to last year's enrollment of 419. Student enrollment affects the amount of state aid a district receives the following year.
Supt. Isom noted legislators want districts with similar enrollment to have similar budgets. Schools will be compared with the 10 other districts in Nebraska which are closest in size: five of which are larger and five smaller. Currently, Superior spends more per student than any of the 10 districts with which it will be compared. "I think we will be OK if our expenditures stay static and we let the other districts catch up with us," he said.
State legislatures made several changes this year in the way school budgets are figured. One of the major changes was to remove levy lid exclusions. For example, interlocal agreements can no longer be outside the levy limit. Superior's 2007-08 budget included more than $200,000 general fund lid exclusions which were absorbed into this year's general fund. One of the interlocal agreements was with the City of Superior to purchase fuel.
During the regular meeting, Supt. Isom, said there would be a board workshop Sept 21. The board will consider facility improvement during the workshop which will focus on goal setting. As part of the workshop, he invited the board to a home cooked meal prepared by his wife.
All action items were approved by a unanimous vote of the board. Action items included approving the September claims, the 2008-09 budget and tax request and approving a rental agreement for $850 for storage room with the Velvet Rose.
The board then entered into at 40 minute executive session to discuss personnel. When the return to regular session, they approved Robert Tipton's application for early retirement despite the fact that he served the district for 22 years and the minimum years of service for early retirement is 25 years. The agreement included waiving his vacation leave pay.
During reports, enrollment figures were reviewed. The elementary has 211 and the secondary 198 students.
Supt. Isom has begun doing a radio report on KRFS on Wednesdays at 12:50 p.m. He plans to write the script and eventually have students and staff do the presentation.
The fall sports participation was reviewed. Seventy-four high school students are participating in athletic competition this fall (30 girls and 44 boys). In addition there are 35 junior high students competing in volleyball and football: 18 boys and 16 girls.
Bob Cook, high school principal, reported administrators have tried out the new sound system at the foot ball field which was purchased in part by the Red Caps for use at both the football field and track. The sound system works and everyone should be able to hear, including the people in the nearby residential area. "It works!" Cook said.
During committee reports, Kent Jensby, a board member, asked why there are people on the safety committee who no longer are employed by the school. Doug Hoins, elementary principal, said, "New members appointments are made in the spring and trained to use emergency response equipment like the defibulators. " Jensby replied, "That's a long time to wait."
Since school has started, two exchange students from Germany have joined the student body. Ellen Loechte is staying with the Bruce and Karen Tinkham family and plans to be here only one semester. Nadine Scholer is staying with Fred and Nancy Meyers.
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