School board gets good audit report

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 10/29/96.

The Paynesville Area School Districtâs auditor Alan Habben presented some good news to the board during their Tuesday night meeting. The 1995-96 audit showed the district had a total fund balance of $1,995,630, an increase of $421,372 from the previous year.

ãI feel it was a good audit report,ä Superintendent Howard Caldwell said. ãWhen I first came here, the district was struggling with a negative balance. Now our struggle is to keep below the state cap. At present, we are able to levy the maximum amount allowed but if we go over the cap, the state will set restrictions on our levy amounts,ä he added. ãWe have to keep track of the fund balances carefully as we donât want to be caught short or with extra funds.

Caldwell stressed to the board the tax shift each year makes it hard to calculate a budget. ãWe never know for sure what the shift will be as it catches us off guard. We have been caught with a surplus the last couple of years and received more revenue than anticipated.

ãThe tax shift is hard to keep track of as the state changes the amount every year. Supposedly we get some of the money back through state aids and levies. It is a very complex process and system,ä he added. Habben agreed there was no consistency with the tax shift from year to year.

ãOur major budget issues involve technology,ä Caldwell said. ãThe district has come a long way in the last two to three years. We wouldnât have been able to realize some of our technology updates if we were not in a favorable budget situation. We want to continue to move forward, providing opportunities for the staff, students and programs to expand and grow in the area of technology. The budget shows we are in good shape financially. I feel we are utilizing the funds available to us from the state and local taxpayers which in turn allows us to continue to improve education opportunities to everybody,ä Caldwell said. ãOne program the district is exploring to add in the near future is Spanish. ãWe wouldnât be discussing adding another language if the budget did not have a favorable balance.

ãWe need to continue to move forward to ensure the students are properly equipped for the 21st century,ä Caldwell added. ãTechnology issues are in the forefront and we need to be well versed in order to keep up and be able to continue to learn beyond our school years.ä

In other business, the board heard reports from curriculum chairs, reviewing their 1996-97 school year plans. Curriculum chairs reporting were: Deb Gillman, Denise Landsteiner, Murry Rafferty, Bill Brinkman, Rita Brossard, Jane Hjelle, Jerry Meyer, Jackie Campbell and Cheryl Bungum.

*The board approved school district certification of school bus driver competency. Drivers being certified were Audrey Anderson, Elaine Anderson, Steve Deadrick, Eileen Hertzberg, Allen Hubred, Karen Lieser, Connie Olmscheid, Paul Pratt, Dwight Putzke, David Spanier, Geraldine Spanier, Allen and Marlene Theel, Carl Wagner, Cheryl Wall, Diane Schwandt, Pete Hoppe, Debbie Schaumann, James Schmitz, Janet Klein and Doris Wendlandt.

*The board approved the winter athletic assignments:
Girls basketball: head coach, Cameron Mahlum; assistant, Romi Evans; 9th grade, Tom Jansen; 8th grade, Laurie Nepsund; 7th grade, Jackie Campbell;
Boys basketball: head coach, Darrel Carstens; assistant, Todd Knudsvig; 9th grade, Darin Carstens; 8th grade, Dave Randgaard; 7th grade, Murry Rafferty;
Wrestling: head coach, Virg Vagle; assistant, Steve Fuchs; 8th grade, Scott George; 7th grade, Ron Fuchs;
Gymnastics: head coach, Diane Dutcher; assistant, Deb Nehowig; and 9th grade, Gary Haglund.

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