USD 411 qualifies for additional school funding

Staff writer

In his monthly report, Superintendent John Fast informed the Goessel school board that USD 411’s enrollment for next year had increased enough to qualify the district for about $75,000 in additional school funding.

“The original budget was about $2,206,082 and the adjusted budget is set to be approximately $2,281,691,” Fast said.

The board will meet at 6:45 p.m. April 14 to answer questions related to amending the budget. Detailed budget information is available at the district office, Fast said.

Third grade teacher Dale Wiens also spoke to board members about a recent Supreme Court ruling that could affect Goessel as well as the rest of the districts in Marion County.

“The poorer school districts in Kansas are not receiving adequate funding,” Fast said. “The Supreme Court ruled that the legislator is not being equitable in distribution of funds. This time the Governor will be allowed to weigh in on the issue.”

Fast said “poorer” districts like USD 411 are supposed to receive 100 percent of funding according to the current formula.

However, Goessel is only receiving 78 percent of the funds it is legally entitled.

Fast provided dollar amounts for what each school in Marion County would be entitled to receive in local option budget funding if the state legislator approves the school funding formula in July of 2014.

  • Centre, $56,804
  • Peabody, $39,922
  • Marion, $122,675
  • Hillsboro, $157,512

“For Goessel, 22 percent translates to $84,000 per year,” Fast said. “We could use that money four or five times over to reinstate past programs. But the biggest thing I would use that money for is putting it back into employee salaries. They deserve more for all their diligent hard work.”

Fast said district employees had not had a raise since 2008 because of budget constraints.

In other business:

  • The board approved a “construction friendly” calendar for the 2014-2015 school year. Fast said the major scheduling change pushes back students’ first day of school one week from Aug. 14 to Aug. 21.
  • Board members also approved the resignation of Spanish teacher Laura Salmeron and physical education/health teacher Joe Biggs. Fast said the district would begin to advertise for both positions later this week.
  • The board also approved contract extensions for Fast and Boden through 2016. Fast said no dollar amount for their renewed contracts has been set.

 

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