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Haakon school board approves budget for 2010-2011, taking quarter of reserves

During their scheduled meeting Monday, September 20, the Haakon School Board 27-1 School Board approved the 2010-2011 budget.

The anticipated general fund revenue is $1,984,729. The budgeted appropriations is $2,240,094. The difference of $255,365 will come out of reserves. Current reserves are around $800,000. At current estimates, that surplus will last less than four years, then the fifth year will be negative.

Superintendent Keven Morehart said, "The biggest concern was figuring the local and state effort for state aid. No one else knew, and the state wouldn't answer. What happened to the ag/non-ag money?" Morehart also questioned what happened to the supposed stimulus monies for education as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act? Many administrators are suspecting that the Obama program is supplanting, rather than supplementing, the educational monies.

Business Manager Britni Ross said, "We get the total from three sources, but it's not new money, not as I think it was intended to be, just we have to list it this way. One of the many new requirements was for us to break out all junior high class funds. Ideally, they want every light bulb on their line items. That is why there are so many new lines. There is no way when a teacher requisitions something they can say it is for a specific grade." Ross was exampling the rural schools.

Board President Bill Slovek said, "Its not comparing apples to apples, but with the recent fire district opt-out results, I think people are just not in the mood for any kind of future opt-out."

In other business, the board approved this year's school-to-work sites and the 10 high school students involved in the daily, hour-long, practical experience class overseen by Brigitte Brucklacher. The board also approved requests for four students to be homeschooled this school year. The classified contracts, which were generally approved earlier, were formally approved now that the contracts are all signed.

Board member Anita Peterson, in her monthly report on the Black Hills Special Services Cooperative, said that South Dakota is number one in the number of people with disabilities who are employed. She said this is a credit to the state and to organizations such as the BHSSC.

Secondary Principal Jeff Reickman reported that school is already into its fifth week and that the year got off to a great start. The first grade check was last week. He said the recent junior high and high school parent/teacher conferences had a 87 percent turn-out, the highest that he could recall.

Morehart said that attendances for the parent/teacher conference were a 98 percent turn-out for the elementary. With some parents coming in at pre-scheduled times, this might soon become 100 percent. Reickman and Morehart said that student attendance is 146 for grades seven through 12 and also 146 for kindergarten through sixth grades, thus equaling 292 so far in the school district for the 2010-2011 school year.

The school board will next meet at 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 18. The members will tour the district properties and buildings, starting at 4:00. After inspecting the Philip buildings and the Milesville rural school, they will finish at the Cheyenne rural school and conduct the monthly meeting there.