District 88 to receive $2.8 million in withheld funding

NEW ULM – Due to improved financial forecasts, Minnesota school districts will be receiving payment of the full amount of state funding withheld from them as part of improving the state budget situation, Superintendent Harold Remme told the District 88 Board of Education Thursday.

This money is not new funding, but it will improve cash flow, said Remme. The total payback of shifted funds for District 88 is $2,828,324, he added.

The money is expected to be received by July 1, said Remme. It will help offset the $4 million borrowed for cash flow purposes, he added.

During its regular meeting, the board also authorized the Business Office to seek quotes on liability/property insurance for 2013-14.

The current provider is EMC Insurance, with the agent of record being Brown/Brown of Mankato. The current annual premium is $161,484.

The process of soliciting bids takes 90 days, said officials.

The board approved amended policies on parking, reflecting the change to paid parking at the high school, and on graduation requirements, reflecting the change to a six-period day and semesters, rather than quarters.

During dialog (non-action) time, the board heard a presentation from Tracie Vranich on the work done toward launching a District 88 Foundation.

Vranich explained that the foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of education in District 88 by creating partnerships among the schools, community and alumni.

The foundation is independent of the school district but operates in conjunction with it. It is led by a 14-member volunteer board, with no paid staff.

The foundation has filed for a 501c3 status with the IRS and is hoping for a resolution on the issue by summer, said Vranich. It would enable the district to take advantage of larger donations, as part of legacy giving and estate planning.

The foundation hopes to help focus business giving and also to provide a more organized and strategic way to fund projects, Vranich added.

It has a long-term goal of creating a $1 million permanent endowment fund and will seek to develop a granting process similar to the New Ulm Area Foundation, said Vranich.

The foundation is also hoping to provide a central hub for alumni relations.

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