Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer
Public hearing on the budget :
The board held a public hearing to allow citizens to comment on the proposed budget. No citizens commented.
Dr. Bob Shannon, Superintendent, reported that the district had received word from the state about 10 days prior that the State Finance Council would accept proposals from districts that felt they had extraordinary funding needs due to either increased enrollment or significant decreases in valuations. USD 383 is anticipating an enrollment increase of 125 students and had submitted a request for additional funding in the amount of $498,000. The Council will hear appeals on Aug. 24, and ahead of the appeals, the state had requested additional information as to how the district has been innovative and improved efficiencies to produce better outcomes in the classroom. Dr. Shannon had received notice of the request for additional information that day, and the information was required to be returned by Friday — two days later. Dr. Shannon said it would be a challenge to provide a thoughtful response with only two days to work on it. Board member Dave Colburn said the notion that districts have to prove their efficiencies is a red herring because “efficiency” had not been defined by the state, and so the state will be able to say the district has not been efficient enough. Mr. Colburn thought the district’s being deemed “efficient enough” will be unattainable as long as the state can continue to raise the bar.
Asst. Supt. Eric Reid provided a preliminary report on enrollment. Enrollment in grades K-6 had increased by 33 students, and enrollment overall had increased by 108 students.
The board approved 7-0 the adoption of the 2015-16 budget