HOWARD — In giving the annual fiscal report to East Knox school board members on Wednesday, Treasurer Jessi Busenburg said, “It’s not great, but it’s not as bad as we expected.”
She said the district’s tax revenues are 1.9 percent less than last year; investment income is also down from a year ago. The district has essentially received no increase in state funding, and is expecting a 1 percent decrease in state foundation money. Federal stimulus dollars are supplanting some of the state funds, she said, but come with many strings attached as to what they can be used for.
Superintendent John Marschhausen said many things about the state budget are still up in the air because portions of the bill require action by the state department of education.
“It is somewhat disconcerting that there are so many unfunded mandates,” he said. “We are limited to a 1 percent state funding increase during the budget years, so even new requirements will not be supported with new state dollars.”
In an effort to increase communication with the East Knox school community, Marschhausen said the district is creating a new Web page which includes district information, and also allows teachers, departments and clubs to create and manage their own material. Marschhausen has started blogging, he said, and has a Twitter account.
Marschhausen announced a special summer graduation ceremony for students who have now passed the Ohio Graduation Tests. It will be held Sunday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. in the middle school library. He commended the transportation department for the buses passing inspection on the first try, listed summer work projects, and announced the district will be proceeding with the walking path at Bladensburg with the help of several grants and the Sertoma Club of Bladensburg. He also said he met with Knox County Health Commissioner Dennis Murray to discuss H1N1 precautions with regard to prevention, vaccination, treatment and the reporting of H1N1 cases.
Concerning personnel, the board accepted the resignation of classroom teacher Colleen Wancheck, retroactive to July 27. It also advanced Karen McLachlan and Carol Hall on the pay scale due to completion of requirements, and employed Meghan Burley as a classroom teacher. Kathy Nouse was approved as a long-term substitute for a teacher on maternity leave, and a number of aides were approved for employment. The board also hired Randy Reese as a maintenance worker, retroactive to Aug. 3, and issued several supplemental/extra service contracts.
Besides approving routine fiscal actions, the board accepted the following donations: $3,000 from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for environmental studies, $326 from the Bladensburg Alumni Association to East Knox Elementary for alumni pictures, $2,500 from East Knox Athletic Boosters to the athletic department, $50 from John Feltman for the career-based intervention program and $400 from Feltman for the establishment of a woodworking student account. The board also approved the bids for bakery, dairy and food products through the Metropolitan Educational Council for the 2009-10 school year, and affirmed the current providers of goods and services. Those are Mickley Oil, TD Petroleum and Waste Management Inc.
Other actions included the approval of:
•An agreement for occupational, physical and/or speech and language therapy for a student being educated at the Rose-Mary Center.
•A service contract with Leah Clendening for physical therapy services for the 2009-10 school year.
•Bus routes and stops for the 2009-10 school year.
•Superintendent’s recommendation to use substitute teacher and substitute aide lists as approved by the county educational service center.
Prior to adjournment, the board went into executive session to discuss negotiations. No further action was taken.
The next regular meeting of the East Knox Board of Education is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in the middle school library.