By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

LCSD2 board prepared for 2013-14

 

Charlene Smith

The annual budget meeting was held after the monthly meeting of the Laramie County School District No. 2 board meeting July 17, in Albin. Before the trustees discussed funding the next fiscal year, they ran through their agenda with little or no issues to the items.

The board discovered their discrimination policy didn’t include the word “religion” so the board approved the revision. In other policy work, the board passed on second reading two policies pertaining to board hearing procedures. They also passed the second reading of the policy on donations to the district and second reading on the job sharing policy.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday, July 16, Pine Bluffs elementary principal Sue Stevens reviewed the curriculums for English language art and mathematics for the board. Stevens discussed the high school classes being general Literature, World Literature, American Literature and European and British Literature.

Board member Jeff Kirkbride asked if this was the same curriculum board chairwoman Esther Davison taught when she was teaching. Davison said no, but agreed that teachers could still apply “passion and interest” to the curriculum to keep it relevant and useful for their students. Kirkbride wondered when the students learned words and how to use them in sentences. Stevens offered most teachers encourage writing and language use. Davison said it was a lot easier teaching something the students were interested in rather than “teaching a text book.”


Kirkbride and Davison stressed they were in “no way being critical” of the work Stevens and the others did on the curriculum, knowing she “did what you had to do,” and appreciated all the effort. The board approved the curriculums for the 2013-2014 school year.

In other curriculum news, the board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Laramie County Community College for concurrent and dual enrollment.

The board approved the hiring of Corbin Peterson as counselor at Burns high, Anne Schatz as the Burns music teacher and Sarah Hagemeier as a substitute teacher.

Student meal prices were discussed and the board agreed not to increase the prices for the coming school year.

Davison summarized the School Facilities Commission meeting, which she, board member Jack Bomhoff, superintendent Jack Cozort, business manager Rob Bryant and Kim Nelson attended Monday, July 15, in Casper. The group presented a strong case on the condition of Pine Bluffs elementary building. Davison explained she wanted to cover all of the bases, meeting with everyone to explain the situation so no one could come back and say, “well, they didn’t talk to this committee.”


During the budget hearing following the monthly meeting, Bryant presented the proposed budget.

Bryant explained in his presentation the district’s General Fund increased by $272,874. This increase was due mainly to new revenues coming in from increased student enrollment. Causing the increase expenditures were transportation, special education, and utility costs. The board agreed to increase salaries slightly for the 2013-14 year and the needed revenue will come from the 9 percent decrease in health insurance costs from the 2012-13 year to the 2013-14 year. 

LCSD2 realized an 18.4 percent increase in property value, $106,538,503 to $126,121,548. Bryant was unclear what drove the increase, but stressed it was a definite factor for the district’s finances.

The district had to eliminate a position in the Title I program due to a late and significant decrease in funding for the program. Another decrease in the program funding is anticipated in 2014-2015.

The board expects to spend $715,000 in 2013-2014 on large scale construction projects, including the new Burns high track and field and a major renovation to the Carpenter elementary vestibule. However, the district only received $677,102 in state funding for these projects.

The board approved all appropriations recommended for the 2013-14 year as well as approving the 25 mill local school district levy and the 1.0 recreation mill levy. 

The next LCSD2 board meeting will be Monday, August 12 at 7 p.m.

Charlene Smith

 

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