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USD 410 reviews funding principles

Staff writer

Any discussion of changing Kansas’ formula for public school funding should include discussion of local spending flexibility, a review of state tax policy, and expanding local option budgets for schools, Kansas Association of School Boards determined.

USD 410 Board of Education President Eddie Weber and Superintendent Steve Noble attended the association’s annual delegate assembly Dec. 4 in Wichita.

Noble reviewed the association’s policy statement with USD 410 Board of Education on Monday.

School districts’ funds are limited in what kinds of things they can pay for. Capital outlay funds can’t pay for teacher salaries, for example. Giving districts more flexibility in spending those funds would allow them to focus spending where it is most needed, Noble said.

Additionally, before the state changes how it allocates money, it needs to review where it gets the money it allocates, the association said. The state should make sure it properly balances income, property, and sales taxes, and should consider how many exemptions and abatements it gives.

Expanding local option budgets is the most contested point of the policy statement, Noble said. Expanding local option budgets would work best for large, populous school districts with large tax bases. However, it would be of limited use to districts like USD 410. Noble described expanding local option budgets as akin to opening “Pandora’s Box.”

FCCLA trip approved

Hillsboro High School Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America members Alyssa Bettles, Ashley Brandt, Emily Hoskinson, Aubrey Meier, and Ashlyn Simmons will compete in the national Knowledge Bowl competition July 10 through 14 at FCCLA National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Earlier this year the team placed third nationally in Chicago. Only one member of that team isn’t on the current team, sponsor Monica Leihy said.

The trip will cost approximately $1,000 per student, but no district funds will be spent on the trip. Among other fundraising efforts, FCCLA will serve a supper during a Feb. 18 home basketball game. Donations and corporate sponsors are always welcome, she said. For more information, e-mail Leihy at monica.leihy@usd410.net.

In other business:

  • The board met in closed session for 25 minutes to discuss Noble’s evaluation. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The board approved joining Marion County’s revised neighborhood revitalization plan. The new plan, which goes into effect Jan. 1, reduces the length of tax rebates from 10 to five years.
  • Noble urged the board to consider a policy banning employees from using cell phones while driving students.
  • Points for teacher license renewal and salary adjustment from professional development were approved. To earn salary points, teachers must receive training outside the contract day.
  • A contract with Tabor College was approved. The district will pay half — $20,502 — of the salary and benefits to have an employee to maintain the joint athletic facility. The amount changed from $19,514 because Tabor College gave raises.
  • Melanie Dick will be a PATHS to Adventure assistant sponsor.
  • The district has set up a Facebook page. Noble and district office secretary Amy Plett will administer the page.
  • A possible virtual school program could allow the district to reach three target groups: home schooled students, students in church schools, and those considered a dropout risk.

Last modified Dec. 15, 2010

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