NRHEG School Board
By REED WALLER
The NRHEG school board took a first look at a new draft of the district’s school lunch policy with the intent to bring it more in line with the district’s goals. Issues have arisen in other districts regarding the treatment of students with unpaid meal charges.
Last August the Policy Committee looked over the first draft of a new Unpaid Meal Charge Board Policy.
“At that time,” said Supt. Dale Calrson, “the committee asked for more work to be done on the policy, including making sure the appropriate staff were included in drafting the policy. The policy draft reflects additional revisions since the meeting, and supports our long time practice of providing a meal for every student regardless of the status of their account. The policy outlines procedures in working with families with unpaid meal charges.
“As part of the board’s first reading of Policy 534, the consideration of removing Policy 534.1 (the current version) will also be taken as part of the first reading.”
The board will consider further revisions on second reading.
Donations were approved from: E.F. Johnson Foundation, $1,000, Rosenau’s Legacy of Angels, $2,500, both for the New Richland Flexible Learning Space; E.F. Johnson Foundation and Rosenau’s Legacy of Angels each $1,000, for CE Youth Development scholarships; Wisconsin Power & Light $100 and NRHEG PTO $1,500, both for Eagle Bluff; NRHEG PTO $306.03 for Battle of the Books; NRHEG PTO $82.83 for Conference Meals; Court Sports $728 for Ellendale Sales – Letter Club; and anonymous $300 toward unnpaid lunch accounts.
Jamie Fey of Eide Bailly presented remotely (by phone and via Internet) the audit report for 2016-17. Notable changes in the fund structure include a jump in the operating balance of the Community Service Fund over the last two years, most of the new revenue going to School Readiness, and a larger portion of this year’s General Fund going to “Other,” which in this case was hearing and Special Education services.
Sarah Larson, Secondary Paraprofessional, and Amy Kilimmek, Elementary Paraprofessional, were approved for hire.
Renovation of the arena Crow’s Nest, which includes replacing windows, entry doors, roof and siding and installing stainles steel shelving, was approved at $20,600 to Long Term Facility Maintenance.
The 2017 Payable 2018 Levy of $1,254,611.52 was approved by resolution. The levy represents an 8.79 percent decrease over the prior year.
Truth in Taxation
Before the regular meeting, the District held its annual mandatory Truth in Taxation hearing, outlining the impact of the state’s tax structure and the district’s proposed levy, approved in the regular meeting. There were few attendees, though the meeting was public.
Supt. Carlson reminded those gathered of three things to keep in mind:
1. Revenue formulas are set by the State Legislature except for voter approved referendums.
2. Local Levy and State Aid mix are set by the State Legislature.
3. An increase in local taxes does not necessarily mean an increase in revenues for the school district.
A comparison of the 2016-17 and proposed 2017-18 budget:
Revenues: 2016-17 2017-18
Gen. Fund $9,946,740 9,878,580
Food Svc. $226,335 463,582
Comm. Svc. $226,335 214,270
Debt Svc. $576,977 452,637
TOTALS: $11,060,195 11,009,069
Expenditures: 2016-17 2017-18
Gen. Fund $9,590,493 9,910,057
Food Svc. $498,881 463,582
Comm. Svc. 206,950 214,270
Debt Svc. $483,695 452,637
TOTALS: $10,780,019 $10,040,546
There isn’t much change. Most significant is a 21 percent drop in Debt Service revenue, due to the Ag2School Tax Credit passed in 2017. This provided a 40 percent reduction on taxes paid on Ag property. But even so, the total effect was only a less than one percent drop in total revenues.
Expenditures have also lowered, with Debt Service payouts decreased by 6.42 percent.
Over the last five years debt service has been the big relief, as a result of the building bonds for New Richland and Ellendale having been paid off.