Board faces decision on use of referendum funding

NEW ULM – The District 88 Board of Education will consider how to allocate new money expected to become available in 2013-14 at its meeting today.

The funds include an estimated $1,334,534 generated by a voter-approved operational levy and $113,950 increase in state aid (as a result of an estimated $50 per pupil increase in the state bedrock school funding formula).

The numbers are based on an estimated 2,279 pupil units. For funding purposes, a kindergartener is less than a pupil unit, and a high school student is more than one unit.

Superintendent Harold Remme reminds the board in prepared information before the meeting that adding one teacher (to reduce section size) costs about $50,000.

Deficit spending recovery – if the board chooses to end the practice of dipping into the fund balance to support operation – would use up $740,000 of the new money.

New contracts with employee unions and health insurance premium increases would use up another $370,000.

Student support system maintenance – Title I, Title II and literacy support – would take up $57,000.

Staff development would take up some $80,000 (with $238,000 set aside). It would go toward coding an existing position/programs to Staff Development ($90,000), professional learning coordination and coaches ($38,000), best practice grants ($30,000) and site allocation ($32,000 to the High School; $28,000 to Jefferson; $22,000 to Washington).

Potentially, $20,000 could go to the Activity Department (for equipment to meet liability concerns and grade seven-eight needs); $25,000 toward technology enhancements; and some $6,250 to $18,750 toward piloting mandated teacher evaluation (for peer review and software).

How the money will be allocated is up to the board.

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