HOWARD — A community forum preceded Wednesday’s meeting of the East Knox Board of Education. It was better attended than the one held in Bladensburg last month, and community members took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions about school finances, budget cuts, the levy and fiscal caution status.
Superintendent Steve Larcomb told the News he was pleased with the turnout and the questions raised. “It’s good that folks are thinking about this seriously,” he said. “They’re asking intelligent questions and I think there’s a lot of thought going into how they are going to vote.”
During the forum as well as the board meeting, Treasurer Jessi Busenburg gave a financial update and presented highlights from the latest five-year fiscal forecast. Revenues in fiscal year 2011 were a little over $10 million, $9.7 million in fiscal year 2012 and $9.6 million in fiscal year 2013. Busenburg said the district has lost $337,000 in state funding in the past year; lost federal education jobs funds in the amount of $173,000; and lost $70,000 in personal property tax reimbursement. The cumulative loss for open enrollment out and community schools is $441,139. Busenburg said the district has made over $1.7 million in cuts [since 2009] to try to offset those losses.
Athletic director Derick Busenburg said four football players recently went to the elementary school to take part in the Second and Seven Literacy program He reported the high school students seemed to enjoy the experience just as much as the second-graders and hope to be able to expand the program beyond second grade.
In addition to reports from elementary principal Genelle Eggerton and middle school principal Lisa Brown, the board heard a progress report on the technology upgrades being done and heard from Knox County Career Center superintendent Bernie Pachmayer and director Robert Kirk.
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