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School Board Approves Budget, Staff Hirings

By Staff | Mar 27, 2018

With a one-percent state aid payment to plan on for the coming year, the Emmetsburg Community School Board approved a budget of some $14 million for the 2019 Fiscal Year during its March meeting March 21. However, the overall budget is less that the current fiscal year, and subsequently, the tax asking for district patrons will be decreased slightly as well.

In a public hearing that drew no comments from the public, Superintendent Amanda Schmidt reviewed school budgeting for the board of directors, noting that the actual tax levy asking for the 2019 school year will decrease slightly from $12.02174 in 2018 to $12.01728.

“The total budget for the district for next year totals $14,656,635, compared to $14,816, 494 for the current fiscal year,”?Schmidt noted. “In figuring the budget, there are just four areas that we locally have control over. The rest is set by the State.”

The four areas under local control included the Cash Reserve Fund, Cash Reserve Fund for the School Board Review Committee, Management Fund, and Voted Physical Plant and Equipment Levy.

“The Management fund is where we pay our early retirement benefits to instructors,” noted Schmidt. “You as a board are able to set the rate of levy and the amount of money you want to keep in this fund.”

As far as the voted PPEL levy, the fund covers Debt Service for the district, which is currently paying off its construction projects. The regular PPEL fund is set by the State, through the statewide “Penny Tax” so that all districts receive an equal share of funding for buildings and equipment.

“Our goal is to keep things as even from year to year,”?Schmidt said. “We can’t control enrollment or valuation of property.”

Following a public hearing on the budget, the board approved the Fiscal Year 2019 budget on a 5-0 vote, with Board Members Aaron Dietrich and Ed Meyer absent and not voting.

In a related item, the board also approved a resolution to participate in the state Budget Guarantee program, which will provide up to 101 percent of the district’s budget in case enrollment would decline. The resolution passed 5-0 on a roll-call vote, with Meyer and Dietrich absent and not voting.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Whitney Bjustrom as Middle School Special Ed instructor and David Hadley as Middle School Social Studies instructor.

“We want to wish Mr. Hadley well on his retirement, after 25 years with us and 12 years at Emmetsburg Catholic,”?noted Board President Jane Hoyman.

On recommendation of Schmidt, the board approved the hirings of Mark Klaus as Middle School/High School Social Studies instructor and Kelly Klaus as Middle School Special Education instructor. Also hired was Trent Teske as High School Vocal Music Instructor, Matt Stein as High School Science instructor and Maria Reimers as High School Spanish Instructor.

“I’m ecstatic that we’ve got some very good people coming to our district,”?stated High School Principal Mike Embrock.