Finances Top the RE-2 Board Meeting Discussion

The Lamar RE-2 School Board Members discussed the preliminary budget for fiscal year, 2011-2012 during their meeting at 7:30pm, June 13. School Superintendent Dave Tecklenburg said the district will have to wait for the annual October student enrollment count to determine how much funding per student will come from the state. He said that, “Federal funding has dropped quite a bit between the end of May and June 12.” Tecklenburg added that there are changes in different levels of federal funding which challenge the board to develop an acceptable budget.

School lunch prices will also be impacted by funding cuts and expenses. Tecklenburg said the USDA mandates that all schools charge a basic rate for reimbursement for the lunch program, $2.74 per student. The school is under-charging, with high school students paying $1.75 and $1.35 for elementary student meals. The state contributes $0.27 per lunch, but that’s still a shortfall for the RE-2 budget, necessitating some adjustments. The superintendent said he’s meeting with food service personnel to get a better idea on future costs, but added the free breakfast program will not be altered.

The board meeting acted on resignations and hires of assorted personnel. The board accepted the extra duty resignations of Amy Wertz as Middle School head volleyball coach; Tara Brooke as High School assistant volley ball coach; Melissa Larrick as High School “C” team volleyball coach and the resignation of Josh Carter as Special Education Aide at Lamar High School. Brenda Deason and Nada Renken were hired as teacher aides at Washington Elementary; Gary Hammer at Partners for Hope Center (formerly P3); and approval for extra duty assignments for Amy Wertz as volleyball coach at LHS and Katie Smotherman as FBLA Advisor. Heather Ramsay received approval as a volunteer Middle School cheerleading sponsor. The high school FFA trip to Glenwood Springs for leadership training and retreat for June 27-28 was also approved.

Regarding Urban Renewal compensations, Tecklenburg said the board will work to produce a resolution of their own by the July meeting. He said he’s spoken to the CEO of Prowers Medical Center for the hospital district’s position on Urban Renewal, as well as the county ccommissioners. The main sticking point is removal of a subordination clause in the Development Authority agreements.

Now that Lincoln Elementary school is closed, an unused modular unit north of the school is vacant and may be used at other elementary schools. Tecklenburg said that determination will come once classes are in session and any over-crowding of students develops. If not, he said the board will probably put the unit out to bid.

By Russ Baldwin

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