Levy passed, but cuts coming before it takes effect
District 2155 school board members dealt with budget realities that paint an improved picture since a levy referendum passed in November, but short-term challenges that need to be met in the interim.
The one-hour regular December meeting saw the board put forth a resolution directing superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom and the WDC administration to provide recommendations for budget reductions. A timeline for budget reductions for the 2010-2011 school year was also determined.
Board members have been aware since the last round of budget reductions last spring that further cuts would be needed in 2010. According to Dahlstrom, the amount of those cuts are not yet known.
"This is going to be a very difficult year due to the state budget and we have no idea what Pawlenty is going to do," Dahlstrom said.
Business manager Jerry Anderson gave the board projections of the district's 2009-10 revenue ($11,721,366), expenditures ($11,488,267) and the net difference ($233,099).
The board also decided that language of long-term substitute teacher's salary in District 2155 will remain at $101 a day.
"Last year when we had our cuts we changed the amount of money for regular substitutes from $114 a day to $101 and there was confusion over our policy as to whether we changed those who teach longer than 10 days in one position. All they did was keep the same language that we have had in our policy over the years," Dahlstrom said.
The board approved the 2010-2011 school calendar that, at Dahlstrom's recommendation, will increase the days of two-hour early release from two to four to benefit the district's Adequate Yearly Progress team in their task of keeping students up to par with federal mandates in the "No Child Left Behind" program. Early release days are set for Oct. 1, Dec. 3, March 4 and May 6. Classes will begin Sept. 7. The high school commencement is set for May 27. A half day of classes and the end of the fourth quarter will be June 2.
Teachers will work 173 days with students and 11 more days will be divided between parent-teacher conferences, staff development and workshops.
Secondary science instructor Kelly Shrode was on hand with news that WDC has been selected for a science and technology grant. The amount of the grant is not yet known but it will represent progress in an educational area many schools are rushing to address with great resources.