School board discusses lobbying effort for funds

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 1/31/01.

The Paynesville Area School Board discussed joining an effort by schools to lobby the Minnesota Legislature for increased funding at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell questioned whether the governor's proposal to fund education would result in less money for the Paynesville schools.

Another concern is funding technology purchases. "Schools are barely making enough to keep the roof patched," said board member Deb Glenz. "Let alone buy computers."

The board discussed getting parents and students involved in the lobbying process. Rural schools hope to get funding that will allow them to keep pace with richer suburban school districts.

"What is my kid not getting?" stressed Glenz, who served as the board chair in the absence of Pat Flanders. "That's what they think legislators need to hear."

This discussion was a recap of the recent Minnesota School Board Association meeting attended by five school board members.

Auditorium update
The board heard a short construction update on the auditorium and fitness center from Kevin Becker, construction manager.

Progress in construction continues to go well, with Becker's only concern that they will have to wait to receive and install the auditorium seats.

The project's deficit is up to $114,000 this month, but Becker called that a worst-case scenario. No contingency funds remain, but nearly $50,000 is still in construction support.

The board approved the paper work completing the one-day bond sale. This sale enabled the board to use money in its Debt Service Fund for the current project.

The school will issue bonds for $54,400 on Feb. 13, with the money going in the construction fund. Then it will pay those bonds on Feb. 14 from its Debt Service Fund.

The cost of the sale is $4,200, also to be paid from the Debt Service Fund.

The net result will be a $54,400 credit in the project fund, meaning the deficit should be down to $60,000.

Athletic and activities director Matt Dickhausen is getting quotes on used fitness equipment for the fitness center. There is still $75,000 in the budget for fitness equipment and rubber flooring for the fitness center.

Other business
•The board set a public hearing for input into the budget reductions for the next school year. The hearing will be held on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

•The board approved staff development proposals of $380 for a second grade teachers' work day, of $830 for the ECFE special education staff, and $2,015 for training and upgrading of the PCs in the middle school.

•The board approved a resignation request from Richard Butler, high school communications teacher, effective at the end of the school year. It also approved a resignation request from Agnes Fangmeier, elementary assistant secretary, effective June 30, 2001.

•The board approved a resignation request from Rita Brossard for her extra assignment as elementary computer coordinator. She will continue as the elementary media center specialist.

•The board approved lane changes for Lori Asche and Mark Syvertson.

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